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Jonny Holden in The Man With The Hammer – Theatre Royal Plymouth

The Man With The HammerThe Man with the Hammer by Phil Porter is a Theatre Royal Plymouth production playing in The Drum, with Press Night on 15th March 2016. Booking to 26th March 2016.

Justin Audibert directs the world premiere of Phil Porter’s The Man with the Hammer. Cast includes Tim Chipping, Jonny Holden, and Harriet Slater.

The Man with The Hammer is a powerful story about hope, desire and the dangers of obsession.
And so it begins.
We climb on, we clip in, we cycle, climb a hill, breathe deep, near the top, change up, push on…
Jodie cycles to college every day but something happened and she started skipping lessons. She has a crush on her hero. She can’t shake the feeling she’s being chased.
Change up, push hard, legs burn…
Plumber Tony’s got a dodgy shoulder. He only bought his bike to impress his daughter, now he’s hooked.
Teeth hurt, fingernails hurt, everything hurts…
A charismatic pro-cyclist, Noah’s just the man to lead his tarnished sport into a bright new era.
But we push on and we push on. In search of that snowblind peace, that magical frequency. In search of The Man with the Hammer.

Jonny Holden
Jonny Holden

Jonny Holden plays the part of Noah. Jonny graduated from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2015 and his first professional stage credit was Romeo and Juliet (Sheffield Crucible).  He recently took time out to answer a few questions about his career and The Man With The Hammer.

Your first role out of drama school was the part of Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet at the Sheffield Crucible. What can you tell us about that experience?
I was delighted to be a part of the production. First of all I love Shakespeare. As an actor speaking those words and being put in those scenarios is like a child being in a sweet shop. It’s so enjoyable. There’s so much scope for interpretation and you can put your own mark on a part that has been done hundreds of times before. I don’t know many people who want to kill someone because they are dating their cousin. That’s such an interesting mind set to get into as an actor. I learned a lot on that job, especially from the older actors, and the Crucible is an amazing stage to play. It was a great experience and one I’ll always look back on fondly. Plus I got to fight in it a lot which is always fun.

You are playing the role of Noah in The Man with the Hammer. Was there anything in particular that made you want to be a part of this production?
There were loads of things about this play that appealed to me. I love a challenge. Something I’ve either got to overcome in rehearsal or something out of my comfort zone. And this play had more than one of those things. First of all, the physical aspect of it. Cycling for the whole play is kind of unheard of in theatre. Also my character interacts with the audience a lot which is something I don’t have a massive amount of experience of. But I love it. And lastly I just loved the character and Phil’s writing. It’s truthful and really accessible.

Can you tell us about The Man with The Hammer?
It’s an incredibly unique play. It’s centred around cycling but it deals with huge issues such as loss, obsession and communication. You’ll have to see it to find out more…

What can you tell us about your character Noah?
Noah is a young professional cyclist at the top of his game. He’s really shaking up the sport. He’s achieving things that are very rare and becoming quite the celebrity because of it. He’s driven, determined and wants to be the best but he’s also charismatic and good with the media. His reasons for all of this are the result of some tough upbringing and just the right mindset for it.

Why should everyone get along to see The Man with the Hammer?
People should see this play because it’s really different. It’s appealing to a whole new audience of theatergoers. It excites me that this might be the first piece of theatre people ever see. But it’s definitely not just a show for cycling enthusiasts. Its central storyline centres around a teenage girl and her dysfunctional relationship with her father. It’s incredibly powerful and both Harriet and Tim play the parts with real truth. It’s an incredibly moving piece that is accessible to all walks of life. There’s definitely something in it for everyone.

The Man With The Hammer – Trailer

The Man With The Hammer
10th to 26th March 2016
Performances: Monday to Saturday 7:45pm
Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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