For the first in our new series of blog posts STRAIGHT UP A CAST MEMBER’S NOSE AND INTO THEIR BRAIN TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY ARE THINKING, we interview Space Doctor’s lead actor, Robert Eyers. When not playing our titular time travelling alien, Robert spends his time selling metronomes.
Hello, Robert. Thank you for turning up so promptly.
Not a problem. Like all metronome salesmen and metronomes, I keep perfect time.
Doing anything nice today?
Got some metronomes to sell. This one’s a beauty. Notice how the wooden casing rests on stiff, unsprung legs, so when you place it on a coffee table or pastel-coloured windowsill the entire surface helps amplify its ticking.
Were you excited when you got the call offering you the lead role of Space Doctor?
When the call came I was in the middle of a very beautiful sales pitch to a very short woman who eventually bought eight metronomes, so I didn’t answer my phone.
Do you think you would have been excited had you answered?
I haven’t listened back to the answerphone message, so frankly I’ve got no idea. I guess I might have been excited if there had been nothing more thrilling occurring in the immediate vicinity, such as a robbery or a metronome trade fair.
Do metronome trade fairs exist?
Have you enjoyed working with the rest of the Space Doctor cast? What do you think of them?
I think not enough of them own metronomes, and I’m willing to help remedy that.
How have you prepared for the role of Space Doctor?
During the day I’m too busy selling metronomes to do any preparation, but I’ve spent a few evenings doing some really useful research. I’ve been watching a few episodes of the David Tennant era Doctor Who. I put the subtitles on so I can follow what’s going on even when I’m testing out the cluck-hard chock-a-tick of a new metronome at full volume.
So you’re a Doctor Who fan?
What? I didn’t say that.
Who’s your favourite Doctor?
I met a lovely old Canadian back in 2012 who helped me out no end when I got lost on the London Underground. He was probably a doctor.
Is that a racial stereotype?
I don’t think so, but it could be.
Is the character Space Doctor at all like you in real life?
Space Doctor is not a metronome salesman, so no, he’s nothing like me. Unlike the word ‘biscuit’ which is defined by the phrase “a small baked, unleavened cake”, I am completely defined by my job.
Have you acted in the Edinburgh Fringe before?
Yes, quite a lot.
Excellent! What shows were you in? Were they comedies?
Oh, sorry. I misheard you and thought you said ‘do you like metronomes’. I now realise you didn’t say that at all. I wish you had.
Some quick fire questions now: have you learned your lines?
Have you booked your train ticket to Edinburgh?
Have you got a costume?
Well, it seems you’re all set for the festival!
Sorry, what did you say? I was playing with a metronome. There’s something really beautiful about an atonally-consistent anti-chromatic contrivance, don’t you think? People call metronomes boring. I think moles are boring, but it doesn’t stop them digging up my lawn.
Thank you Robert, we look forward to seeing you on stage!
Hang on, you didn’t ask any of the questions I suggested. ‘What’s your favourite newspaper?’ The Metro [nome]. ‘What’s your favourite garden decoration?’ A [metro] Gnome. ‘If you were an animal, what...’
Sorry, we said no puns.
Good job I sneaked them in at the end, then.
Next week on STRAIGHT UP A CAST MEMBER’S NOSE AND INTO THEIR BRAIN TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY ARE THINKING we’ll be interviewing leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable, who isn’t a cast member but just really needed something to fill his time.