Getting to know The Rattler’s Mr Sharp

The Rattler, a new interactive retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, will be coming to Bury on May 29.
The Rattler, a new interactive retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, will be coming to Bury on May 29.
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As Bury St Edmunds awaits the musical, visual and inventive tale of The Rattler, its ‘Hob of Hobsmoor’ Matthew Sharp takes part in our Q & A series.

Q. What five words would best describe seeing you live?

Who knows what anyone gets from what I do...I can tell you what it feels like from the inside... ‘For. This. Night. Only. BOOM.’

Q. What or who inspired you to do what you do?

Mouse in Noye’s Fludde, aged three. Page Boy in Falstaff, aged six - by then the bug had bitten. Current inspiration - Bobby McFerrin, Jim Carrey, Beyoncé...

Q. Do you have any links to Bury St Edmunds or Suffolk?

My aunt has a place in Thorpness. And I used to spend holidays at Pro Corda, Leiston Abbey. And I saw my first opera aged three at Snape Maltings - my Mum was playing in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen.

Q. Where do you call home?

The itinerant artist’s life...London. My latest music/theatre project. Lisbon. My family.

Q. What can audience members expect from your upcoming show?

It’s dark, it’s hilarious...might give you ticklish nightmares...

Q. What has been your most memorable concert and why does that one stick in your mind?

Singing John Tavener’s The Fool. Playing John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil - everything and everyone collapsed into one frame. Earthy and uplifting.

Q. How do you keep in tip-tip condition?

I dabble with Insanity (the workout, I mean).

Q. How do you relax?

Films on trains/planes.

Q. What is your favourite food and drink?

Anything my beloved rustles up. Sun-soaked, palette-peppering Rioja.

Q. What’s your favourite piece of art... why?

Today...Van Gogh’s Wheatfields...and Night Skies. I feel like I could eat them, be swallowed up by them - they’re a magical mix of virtuosity and viscera.

Q. Do you have a favourite pet?

Old Seamus.

Q. What are your future plans?

Lots of recording and going coming up, in particular a new solo album of extraordinary cello and voice music. THREE films are also simmering at the moment: an amazing cabaret concerto - Death’s Cabaret-A Love Story; Tommy Foggo - Superhero; and something I’m very excited about, which is currently under wraps but involves espionage and...a cello.

Q. If you could perform at any venue in the world what would it be?

Theatre of Dionysus.

Q. Is there anyone you dream of performing with?

Barbara Hannigan.

Q. What other Bury Festival acts would you want to see and why?

Nigel Kennedy - he always lays it on the line. Tango al Toque (AND the taster session) - nothing like dancing to that extraordinary music. Eleanor Turner - maverick and magician of the harp - a real twenty-first century musician.

Q. What instruments do you play?

Cello...I’ve also played piano, guitar, French Horn.

Q. What do you think is your most annoying habit?

Wagnerian snoring.

Q. What is your favourite movie and why?

Jaws...no, Dumb & Dumber...ahh, Deadpool...when the bereaved mother of the boy slaps Brodie in the face...

Q. What’s the one gadget you can’t live without?

Nasal hair trimmer.

* The Rattler is a new interactive retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

The performance will begin with a music and craft workshop and a colourful pageant which will take you into the auditorium where The Rattler’s tale begins.

As the festivities unfold with lively, folk-infused music, puppetry and inventive storytelling, you will be invited to help bring this age-old tale to life.

The Rattler is a Mahogany Opera Group production developed in association with Anvil Arts and Rosehill.

It is suitable for children aged seven and over and their families.

Tickets can be booked online at www.buryfestival.co.uk, by calling the festival box office on 01284 758000 or in person at The Apex, in Charter Square, Bury.