Time to introduce Simon and Nathan the ‘Break A Leggers’ . These Rugby based chaps are two really nice fellow reviewers who produce lots of splendidly sharp video style theatre/show reviews. Their shows are mainly from London but they also come over to Nottingham Playhouse, Birmingham Rep and Wolverhampton Grand on regular occasions.
I discovered them by accident on Youtube and once I’d watched one theatre review video and soaked up their huge enthusiasm and knowledge I was totally hooked. They are brilliant!!!
So, curious to know more I got in touch via email and introduced myself and my East Midlands Theatre website. I then asked them a few cheeky questions to which they have kindly spared the time to reply. Cheers guys! Keep up the great work!
It would be great to get them even more followers so please subscribe to their Youtube site and through any of the other social media links at the bottom of this post. You won’t regret it.
How did you start and was it vids from the get go? If not what format did you choose?
We got into it purely by fluke. We were always avid theatre-goers and Legger Simon used to document the productions we saw by taking a selfie outside the theatre and writing a couple of lines as a “review”. Then, friends started asking him for a “star” system to sit alongside it.
After meeting up, coincidentally, with some friends Legger Simon hadn’t seen for many years – they mentioned they only remained friends on Facebook as they were interested in his theatre thoughts.
Then, at a performance of the James Graham play “This House” we had on-stage seating and the front of house staff were encouraging camera use during the interval. We got out the phones and started talking. The “Break a Leggers” were born!
How long have you been reviewing?
18months with the video reviews on Youtube and as “The Leggers”. Around 5 years if you count the private Facebook wall posts that came before…..
Have you ever written trad reviews via that ye oldie fashioned text thingy?
Just the Facebook one-liners. Nothing more substantial.
What are your backgrounds in theatre? You both sound pretty knowledgeable and refer back a fair amount.
Legger Nathan is trained in Musical Theatre (Mountview) and has been passionate about performance since a child. He went on to perform in several number one tours and off/on West End – winning an Olivier Award in 2004. Nathan is a part-time wedding/event singer with his band “Me & My Shadow” – http://meandmyshadow.co.uk/
Legger Simon was an avid theatre go-er from a teenager seeing a hundred productions at his local theatre, Wolverhampton Grand, between the ages of 15 and 23 and his enthusiasm stemmed from there.
We also both direct at our local amateur theatre.
I love your honesty. How important do you feel it is to be frank. And we are not talking Spencer.
Integrity is EVERYTHING, but a review is just one persons (or in our case two people’s) opinion. Not everyone is going to agree with us, and that’s just fine – as long as we know we’ve been true to ourselves and at least been balanced and reasoned.
That being said – our honesty has got us into a spot of hot water from time to time….
A VERY popular and famous West End director once eye-balled us from across a bar. When he walked past we took the opportunity to say hello and introduce ourselves. He said “Yes, I know who you are. You’re the two who hated my last play….”. AWKWARD.
How long does it take you to construct a review to video completion?
With research, filming and editing each video takes a minimum of 3 hours “work”.
Do you mainly do press nights or (shock horror) actually pay for tickets?
Currently very little that we see is as “Press”, although that is increasing monthly. Currently it’s around a 70/30 split – paid v comps. Due to the sheer volume of theatre we see, the majority of it is either last-minute bookings or from “restricted view” or standing spaces – it’s a huge financial commitment.
What are your plans for the future?
Re-launching the website, perhaps some “BAL” merchandise (if anyone wanted it) and even more reviews!
Have you ever had anybody or people in general muck up your attempts to put your thoughts down on video? One of those awful take ten moments.
Oh, recording on the streets of central London after 10pm at night with a tripod and lighting rig – WE ARE DRUNK-MAGNETS. It doesn’t happen every time but it definitely does happen. Usually harmless, if somewhat annoying.
Hopefully this is alright and thank you so, SO much for this Phil!
Simon & Nathan
The Break A Leggers
Theatre Community Awards 2017 FINALISTS – Best YouTube Channel
YOUTUBE • http://www.youtube.com/thebreakaleggers
INSTAGRAM • http://www.instagram.com/thebreakaleggers
Check out our own Facebook and Twitter accounts by clicking the links below.
Thanks for reading this and do share on social media! Phil Lowe