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5 minutes with Tom Kanji

Tom Kanji

What are the 3 things you love most in life?
Guinness. Storytelling. Laughing. (Always liable to change… why tie yourself down?)

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I have always wanted to be an actor - I could have been as young as eight years old when I made the decision.

What is your earliest memory?
Probably joining The Pump House Children and Youth Theatre in my home town of Watford.

What makes you happy?
That’s a huge question…! Jeez… People overcoming adversity - that’s pretty special - and Guinness.

What makes you angry?

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Lovejoy or maybe Sharpe, but I don't really feel guilty about either. I love smoking and picking my nose - I’ll leave it to you to judge me as you will.

Which play changed your life?
Not a play as such, but joining the Youth Theatre definitely changed my life – they are hugely important, for young people and society as a whole. I’m very excited to be working with members of YEP over the coming months.

What’s exciting you about joining The Company?
Working closely with the same group of players, Everyman theatre-makers, the Liverpool audience and the city itself.

What are you looking forward to doing when you’re (back) in Liverpool next year?
Getting to know the city - it’s my first proper spell in Liverpool and I’m very much looking forward to being by the Mersey and the sea.

Arthur Miller's The Hook - 20 - Liverpool Everyman Theatre
Arthur Miller's The Hook at the Everyman.

What was your first experience of the Everyman?
I saw the Arthur Miller play The Hook here a couple of years ago. Loved it. Otherwise this is my first real experience of the theatre and what a way to get to know it and everyone else.

If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) for a drink in the bar who would it be and why?
Another difficult question. So many people. Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, Shakespeare - sorry but I just have so many questions! Not even the tip of the iceberg though. Richard Harris and Peter O’Toole would be most welcome. It’s an open invitation to everyone.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an actor or the best advice received?
Try and fight any jaded and negative thoughts, search for the positive. If you remain positive you're more creative and prepared to deal with the problems you're faced with. Not a bad one for day-to-day life too, I think.