This verbatim interview is a part of the Open Theatre Archives

HS: So, tell us all about The Mysteries. 2003, right?

MM: Yes, 2003. This was another Community Cast that I had approached to be involved. It was a collaboration between the Belgrade Theatre and award winning company Macnas from Galway in Ireland.

I had the honour to travel on a plane to Knock International from Birmingham Airport and spent 3 weeks over in Galway performing then we brought it back to Coventry and rehearsed it in the Coventry Cathedral ruins of August 2003. I had a small part of the Cycle (Jesus), with a scene towards the end.

When it was took to Galway it was my first time on the plane, which I had fear of flying and it was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done with that because I was petrified of going on a plane from Birmingham International to Ireland.

I still have a hard time now going on a plane ‘cus I’ll be going on it in June; that’s the last time in 2003 so erm, it’s quite, I’m still getting that nervous but I’ll do it.

HS: So, what was it? Was it a play, what kind of play was it, what was it about?

MM: It was basically about, like, the animal Ark, it was about Jesus. There was this scene of, we had different parts of Jesus being played – we had a baby Jesus, we had a teenager, then me – who was the older version, then we had the older version who played Jesus so, it was basically through the Mysteries of – and it was set in Coventry Cathedral ruins – and it was about Noah’s Ark, it was about all sorts of things that worked around – scourging and things like that.

The music that was used was Derick Nesbitt who composed the music specifically for our show. I always used to make him laugh, a lot because I used to buy the CD’s quite a lot off him because I like the music from it.

HS: What was your favourite scene?

MM: Well, my favourite scene in the Mysteries was where I was on the boat and they look at me and they lift me up and put me on their shoulders and they carry me across, and they place me on a boat and then the boat goes right back and then the music is so dramatic, then that really, then that fades out and then I stand, and then my face is all like, like with blood, but it’s not real blood it’s like, paint blood and they just scourge me on the ship and that.

HS: What was your costume for this show?

MM: My costume was like, old rags, like green trousers and boots and a white shirt and a waistcoat, and in that day I didn’t have long hair I had short hair, so, my hair’s grown since then.

HS: – You look more like Jesus now!

MM: Yeah! I should’ve had long hair then, shouldn’t I?

HS: Do you prefer outdoor performances to indoor performances, and what are some of the differences for you?

MM: I kind of like both really but I like to do both really because it’s what becoming a performer’s about. I like performing inside because it’s nice and warm and you’ve got the lights but it’s nice to do outdoor in summer.

When I was asked to do – when I was asked to go to Galway, they wanted me to travel on the plane in 2003 in June/July, that was the most terrifying thing i’ve ever done or challenged myself to do.

When Cathy and Sue and Richard were talking to me about it I said to myself “If you’re going to be with the Shysters, we’re going to be going on tour like that, and you have to build your confidence and you have to face your fear.”

When it took off that was the most terrifying ordeal I’ve ever been on in my life, but I felt like I wasn’t on that plane for long, I felt when we was up in the air it was time to come down, and I thought “Wow”, I remember when I had a glass of water because I was petrified I tipped it down my colleague’s leg – “Sorry, it was just nerves!”