Review Fix chats with actor David Gow, who discusses his part in the upcoming production of Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone.
Performances begin Thursday, November 30th at the WorkShop Theater.
The play follows a young man who is very discontent with society and decides to take make a big and dangerous statement. It’s interesting to see how his reaction to the politics of the 70s matches current grievances and dangerous reactions to our current landscape.
Review Fix: What originally attracted you to the work of Terrence McNally?
David Gow: To me, Terrence McNally can do no wrong. No matter the era, genre, or subject matter, his language always hits the ear and the heart in the most effective way. What he has been able to accomplish, particularly in Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone, is remarkable.
Review Fix: Why must someone see this production?
Gow: People should see this production because it is the near perfect theatrical example of history repeating itself. If not for the stylistic and pop-culture references to the 70s, an audience member would swear the story was about the political and social climate of 2017.
Beyond that, it’s incredibly entertaining. It offers as wide a range as I have ever seen in a play- veering into extreme comedy and “farce” moments, while also going into deeply poignant, dramatic storytelling as well.
Review Fix: What have you learned about yourself through this production?
Gow: I have learned a lot about how humans, including myself, have the balance of how they are “seen” by the world and how they “want to be seen.” My character Tommy cares deeply about how he is perceived by the world and desperately attempts to mask his reality with a more positive perception. I think everyone does this to a certain extent, but it is really apparent with Tommy, especially because he is engaged in conversation with the audience the entire show. I’ve definitely noticed how I do this in my own life.
Review Fix: How did you prepare for this role?
Gow: I started with relentless research on the time period, which embarrassingly I knew little about. I read up on Abbie Hoffman and his book “Steal this Book,” which seems to be the bible that Tommy Flowers uses to live his life. I also practiced asking people for money on the street, which proved to be incredibly uncomfortable. The bulk of my work was done for me by our mastermind director Laura Braza, who true to form has been terrific about finding a linear storyline through all the vignettes and characters that pop in and out of Tommy’s story.
Review Fix: How would you like this production to be remembered?
Gow: That while the story itself may not be pretty, it’s important. The two main conflicts seem to be Tommy vs Society and Tommy vs Himself, and I think both offer a lot of to chew on. We as a cast have all fallen in love with this story, and I can’t wait to get it in front of an audience.