On the Couch with Jo Castleton

Jo Castleton AAR On the CouchWho is Jo Castleton?
I am currently playing Rose Narracott (Albert’s Mum) on the National Theatre Tour of War Horse. I was born in South London and married to Actor/Writer/Director Duncan Macinnes.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Work wise? If I wasn’t acting, I would still be working for the Charity Starlight in the UK – they grant wishes for seriously ill children and provide entertainment in hospitals. I used to work in fundraising and organising their London Marathon team! A fantastic job that I was lucky to do in between acting roles and loved it. It’s a fantastic charity and I know it’s much bigger here in Australia.

Who inspires you and why?
My husband who has been working hard to write and get his own play produced. The puppeteers on this show inspire me, they are amazingly strong, focused, working tightly as a team of three and create extraordinary theatre magic by bringing the horses to life everynight. My Mum and Dad who are 91 and still happily married!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
To stop the use of plastic, it is so sad to see how much is just floating in our oceans. To try and take personal responsibility and be accountable for my actions and encourage others to do the same.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
A road trip with my husband around the north island of New Zealand. Such spectacular scenery and we really loved free camping, very special to drive to the next destination in the dark and wake up to beautiful lakes and mountains on your campervan doorstep. Also a tiny quaint place in the UK called Brightlingsea – where I go for dinghy sailing holidays – staying in an old customs house and dinghy sailing on the estuary everyday, with our sailing club. But very excited to be touring around Australia as I have never been before, so I am sure this answer will be different after 12 weeks in Australia!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
We live in Hackney Wick East London right next to the Olympic park, so often take friends there to see the Orbit tower sculpture by Anish Kapoor – it’s Britain’s largest piece of public art and gives you a fantastic view of London, and the beautifully designed velodrome and  Olympic pool. The regeneration of the area has been amazing and we have the best quirky cafés and bars in Hackney Wick.

What are you currently reading?
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson – I love a crime novel.

What are you currently listening to?
Talking Heads – This Must Be the Place. And BBC Radio 2 is my constant touring companion!

Happiness is?
Big family celebration days when we all get together and end up all playing our ukuleles and have a great singalong! Sailing my mirror dinghy that my dad made 50 years ago! Being able to do the job I love and be part of a huge team telling this War Horse story.

What does the future hold for you?
An amazing eight months of touring the world, which I never thought I would get to do! After that, I have no idea! Hopefully more acting but what ever happens this War Horse Tour has been an extraordinary life experience which I will never forget

Jo stars as Rose Narracott in the National Theatre of Great Britain’s multi award winning production of War Horse – which plays Melbourne’s Regent Theatre from 10 January, before heading to the Sydney Lyric Theatre from 15 February and Crown Theatre, Perth from 24 March 2020. For more information, visit: www.warhorseonstage.com.au for details.

Image: Jo Castleton (supplied)