Tim Daish is a Florence-based actor. He currently appears in The Medici Dynasty Show as Gian Gastone de’ Medici. Tim is classically trained in theatre and studied with London-based teacher of the Meisner technique, Tom Radcliffe. He has appeared in several West End and off-West End plays and also in UK and Italian produced Film and Television. Tim is also involved in literary translation and production development. He founded the Gruppo di Teatro Santo Spirito in Florence for actor training and script development.
In an effort to get to know the man behind our Gian Gastone, I asked Tim the following questions:
I was looking for somewhere to develop personal projects in film and theatre, and also a place that would be the ‘right size’, [a place with] a cultural heart but not a [big] city where you can get a bit lost amongst it all. Florence [is perfect], by bike you can get in five meetings per day. In London that’s a lot less likely to happen as the time and travel costs are significant. I trained in theatre in Bologna in early 2000, and although it’s a similar size, there’s something in the layout of Florence that makes it more appealing; the Arno helps.
Who is your favorite Medici family member and why?
I have to say Gian Gastone don’t I? He’s probably the most colourful. Anyone that invites 300 teenagers to live with him at Palazzo Pitti and tears up the Boboli gardens on a regular basis – well, safe to say he didn’t really (or didn’t seem to) care what anybody thought of him. Maybe [it was] a reaction to feeling like much of his life had been controlled by the rest of his family amid the trappings of ‘being a Medici’.
How much of Gian Gastone is in you?
Probably less than [Gian Gastone] would like there to be! Physically we’re quite different, but hopefully the old-man make up, voice, and physical aspect [of my acting] makes up for that. Certainly as he has been written, he is full of put-downs, sarcasm, and innuendo. I had some input into the more risqué lines in the play (“when she walked into a room men would do as squirrels and bury their nuts for winter”). And who doesn’t love a bit of late-night innuendo?
What do you like most about working as an actor?
I think Dame Judi Dench said that the best thing about acting is getting the job, and it’s all downhill from there. In many ways I’ve been very lucky up to this point, particularly having the opportunity to work in various languages (Italian and French). Also, although I enjoy traveling, I’m not very good at taking holidays, so the travel aspect [of working] over the years has been great. [I have worked] in Vietnam, Lithuania, Tunisia, and obviously Italy. In terms of the actual work, we’re essentially making up characters who are just lines on a page until you start walking around in their shoes in made-up circumstances, and finding the connection(s) that make [the character] real. The fun is getting to do that when you’re sort of not ‘supposed’ to do that as an ‘adult’.
You can see Tim performing in The Medici Dynasty Show until January 2017. You can also catch him in La Verità sta in Cielo which comes out in Italy in October 2016.
Tim’s Instagram: @timdaish
Post by Brianna Pohl