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Owen Teale: a samurai test for acting

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Nicola Heywood Thomas Nicola Heywood Thomas | 17:04 UK time, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Spare a thought for Welsh actor Owen Teale, who's rehearsing in Japan for a new play about the British Samurai, William Adams. Acting is hard enough when it's in your native language but poor Owen has lines to learn in both English and Japanese.

I interviewed him for this week's Radio Wales Arts Show before he flew off to Japan and I think it's fair to say that he was viewing the experience with an equal mix of excitement and terror.

As he said, it's not as simple as just learning lines parrot fashion as he needs to know enough of the language to be able to follow his fellow Japanese actors' lines. However, he seemed to be really getting into the swing of it and was having Japanese lessons, reading as much as he could about the country and is absolutely fascinated by the story of Adams himself.

The only problem was when I asked him if he knew the Japanese word for theatre. Owen went very pale, searched in vain through his phrase book and began laughing hysterically. Here's hoping he found his way to the rehearsals safely!

You can hear from Owen Teale on this week's Radio Wales Arts Show at 6.30pm, on Thursday and we're hoping to catch up with him once the play opens early in December too.


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