Most everyday things have a certain magic, says 'BKLYN' star Jamie Muscato
Theatres have been closed for over a year now, but that doesn't mean shows have stopped for good. Virtual productions have entertained us in a year of abnormality, with an online revival of BKLYN streaming this month.
Set in New York, the lives of street performers intersect in incredible ways, discovering new stories between them. Last seen at the Greenwich Theatre in 2019, BKLYN is back with a new production, starring Emma Kingston, Marisha Wallace and Jamie Muscato.
Best known for playing JD in Heathers opposite Carrie Hope Fletcher, Muscato stars as Taylor in BKLYN. We spoke to Muscato about his role in the show, what it meant to actually work with the BKLYN cast in person after weeks on Zoom and the power of magic.
Not everyone may know ‘BKLYN’, what is the musical about?
It’s a play within a play performed by street performers in Brooklyn, the leader of the troop tells a story to the audience and the rest of the company brings it to life. We play ‘ourselves’ performing the story to the Brooklyn streets (or in this case, audience at home) and the actual characters living out the experience. Dean, our director, was clever with how we shot it and it will weave in and out of the two worlds in a really interesting, fluid way.
You play Taylor in ‘BKLYN’, what is his character like?
Taylor is quite different to the other characters in the piece. He’s got some real dark demons to contend with, issues with drug abuse, PTSD from a war he fought and lost friends in, guilt from leaving the love of his life and daughter to fend for themselves. He’s a mess, but through the play he finds ways of confronting some of those issues and gets to a place where the future has some lightness for him.
How did it feel to get out and film on location with the cast?
It was great! We rehearsed over Zoom for a week and a bit and then had three days on location to shoot the whole thing so it was a bit manic but it was a lot of fun and everyone was grateful to be working safely with such a great team.
Is there a stand-out moment in ‘BKLYN’ we should be watching out for?
I’ve not seen how it looks in camera but my favourite bit to watch was the Magic Man sequence. Newtion (Matthews) did such a good job with it and the practical and digital effects added in will make it a stand out moment I think.
If a group of street performers were to share a story about your life, what would it entail?
A lot of sitting about waiting for the phone to ring probably.
‘BKLYN’ is billed as an “urban fairytale”, but do you believe in magic?
Well, I don’t believe in ‘magic’ magic but I believe most everyday things have a certain magic to them if you look hard enough. I sometimes find myself sitting on the tube thinking about how crazy it is that electricity is powering this massive metal cylinder under London which stuffed with people all just living their lives quietly next to each other. Sure it’s loud and dirty and, at the moment, virus-y, but it’s also kinda cool in a weird way. I think you can find that type of ‘magic’ in anything if you look at it differently.
Also, I’ve been to the Magic Castle and it was one of the best nights of my life!
Are there plans for this ‘BKLYN’ production to be performed to audiences?
Not that I know of but… anything’s possible.
Photo credit: Jamie Muscato (Photo courtesy of Kate Morley PR)