Hello James, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Hello, I’m originally from Canterbury in Kent and now live in London. My parents are from both England and Scotland and my Father is from Edinburgh where I have friends and family, so I feel very at home here.
When did you first find yourself getting into the dramatic arts?
My first foray was probably at a school variety show aged 10 where I was the compere. There were a few school plays here and there after that, but it wasn’t until after university that I began to properly head down the dark path to performance and admit to both myself and my parents that I wanted a career as an actor.
What does James Heatlie like to do when he’s not being theatrical?
He likes to take photographs, write and occasionally has been known to paint and to pen poems. He is fond of a good tavern and loves the cinema and box set bingeing. He is also not adverse to a bit of sport and exercise and likes very much to go mountain walking and camping among other things. And tea. Tea in vast quantities.
This year you will be playing Manuel in Faulty Towers at the Fringe. Can you give us an outline of what its all about?
Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is Interactive Theatre International’s loving tribute to the fantastic television show of the ‘70s. It invites the audience in to share an evening with Basil and Sybil Faulty and Manuel, putting the dining guests in the middle of their very own personal episode.
What are the key ingredients to a good show?
I think the main ingredient is the audience, we honestly couldn’t do it without them. Seriously though, the audience are really the collective fourth actor in the room and they really make the show with their wonderful sense of adventure and fun. The other ingredients would have to be the other three actors and then some food to make sense of the title.
After a long stint at B’est restaurant, Faulty Towers has a new Edinburgh home this year, can you fill us in?
I remember my first Edinburgh Fringe back in 2014 and the original venue being pointed out to me by a friend who told me about the hit show that went on there. Little did I realise that I would be lucky enough to become a part of that experience and perform at Edinburgh a few years later. The show’s new home is the stunningly beautiful Principal Hotel on George Street. The Hanover Suite is one of the performance spaces, and the King’s Hall the other.
You are also performing in a specially-written 10th anniversary show, can you tell us about this?
No I can’t. It’s top secret, you’ll just have to come along.
In one sentence can you describe the experience of performing in Edinburgh in August?
What will James Heatlie be doing for the rest of 2017?
He will be having a short mountain break post Fringe and then onto more acting and photography work including a tour of Ireland with Faulty and in the gaps between planning his wedding next spring.
You can catch Fawlty Towers this Fringe @ the The Principal (Venue 119)