Nuno Silva

on songs, dance, and the Cursed Child

In this finale episode of series 1, meet an original cast member of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Nuno Silva. Nuno takes us on a journey behind the scenes of the play, how they’ve dealt with this challenging year, and we hear about Nuno’s personal adventure into dance.

Don’t worry, no secrets are given away here! #keepthesecrets

Make sure to click the SUBSCRIBE button above to keep up to date with our latest podcasts!

View Transcript

Show Notes

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – website
Accio Yoga – Nuno’s Harry Potter themed Yoga Channel

Support this winter – if you need someone to talk to, reach out:

Samaritans: 116 123
CALM: 0800 58 58 58
Young Minds: text YM to 85258
Mind: 0300 123 3393

For people working in the creative industries:

Arts Minds

Industry Minds

Guest Info

Nuno Silva

Nuno Silva trained as an actor at the National Conservatory of Theatre in Lisbon, and as a dancer/singer at the London Studio Centre.

His theatre credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for the Palace Theatre London, West Side Story for the Edinburgh International Festival, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for Birmingham Rep, The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare’s Globe, Little Shop of Horrors at the Royal Exchange Theatre for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, The Light Princess at the National Theatre, Cabaret at the Savoy Theatre, Maria De Buenos Aires at Cork Opera House, Dr. Dee at Manchester International Festival and the ENO, The Crane Maiden in Yokohama, Japan, An Anatomy in Four Quarters and The Most Incredible Thing at Sadler’s Wells, God’s Garden in the Linbury, Royal Opera House for which he was nominated for the TMA Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Male Performance, The Lessening of Difference on UK Tour and Pleasure’s Progress at the Royal Opera House.

As a director, his credits include A Darker Shade of Fado at Greenwich Dance and on UK Tour, Soul of Fado for Without Walls in Greenwich and on UK Tour and Nufado, Pulsar and Ritmo Das Estações performed in Portugal.

As a choreographer, his credits include Ragtime (associate) at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Tannhauser and Aida (associate) at the Royal Opera House and Goalmouth in Botswana and in Newcastle. He was awarded the TMA Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Repertoire whilst he was part of HODC as Dancer and Associate Director.

Nuno is a certified Yoga Teacher (also known to teach “muggle-friendly” Yoga on occasion) and a Personal Trainer.

Transcript

Sam McCormick:

Hello, and welcome to Curious e-Motion. I’m Sam McCormick and this is the final episode of series one. I know this year has been very challenging and here in the UK, we’ve just had more last minute changes to the COVID restrictions. So I’m really grateful that we’re finishing this series with a person who brings such love, care, and joy to everything he does, Nuno Silva. Nuno is a dancer and performer. He was current the Associate Movement Director on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Sam McCormick:

He gives us a glimpse into the backstage world of the play. And despite the incredible challenges everyone in the team is continuing to face this year, how he has found joy and hope. Nuno is originally from Portugal and I met him a few years ago when he was touring his own work, A Darker Shade of Fado, where my husband, Matt was one of the performers. So we begin our episode by finding out about the story of Nuno’s earlier life and how that led to becoming an original cast member on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Sam McCormick:

Welcome, Nuno. Thank you so much for being here.

Nuno Silva:

Thank you, Sam.

Sam McCormick:

It’s a real privilege to get to chat to you and I wish we were together, but this is better than nothing.

Nuno Silva:

It is indeed. Yes.

Sam McCormick:

I wanted to start by talking about your work and where you grew up and the influences on that. So I was wondering how your Portuguese heritage influences your work.

Nuno Silva:

Of course. I was born in Portugal many, many moons ago, too many to count and to tell, and I was born in Lisbon, the glorious sunny city of Lisbon. I grew up there, normal kid going to high school and school. I was always very active, me and my brother. We were very lucky, me and my brother that my parents would give us lots of stimuli, so swimming, karate, gymnastics, theater groups, choir, music, piano, the recording lots of, lots of things for us to do to learn like sponges.

Nuno Silva:

And then after high school, I went to drama college in Lisbon. I did that for three years, and throughout those three years, my curiosity towards movement, towards dance began appearing and seeping through. After I finished those three years, I came to London where I normally am and currently I’m indeed and I studied a further three years in a performing arts school called London Studio Centre, which was at Kings Cross. And now it’s been relocated to Finchley, to North London. That’s in a nutshell my process and my progress through my late teens and early adulthood.

Nuno Silva:

Now, with regards to my Portuguese heritage, I remember coming to London when I was about 19 when I started college here and I brought a CD. We still used CDs back then.

Sam McCormick:

In the day.

Nuno Silva:

Yeah, back in the day of this amazing singer called Amalia Rodrigues. She’s passed away now, but she was the queen of Fado. Father was a Portuguese traditional type of song. So I brought with me that double CD of her hits. After college, so I’d get home quite late because I would be there the whole day like till eight or nine o’clock in the evening. And then get home, have a bite to eat, go to bed and just put my Amalia songs in my head. And I would just listen to those songs and go to sleep with it.

Nuno Silva:

And it’s funny because when I was in Portugal, I didn’t use to listen to Fado. I didn’t use to go to Fado houses at all because I was brought up in the suburbs of Lisbon. I would go into Lisbon, my late teens to go to the drama college, but I was never big into the traditional side of Portuguese life. My parents being very liberal, we would go to concerts, to orchestras, we’d go to museums, we’d go to movies, that sort of thing, rather than going to a Fado house.

Nuno Silva:

It’s not that I considered them too traditional, too backward thinking because they’re not, but it was something that I was never too keen on. But once I left Portugal, it was almost like there was a little happy bug inside my heart or something just going like, “I’m here. I’m here, I’m calling you.” And it gradually spread happily through my body so that once I finished college, and I went into contemporary dance companies, and then I went to musicals and theater productions and all those things.

Nuno Silva:

Eventually I decided to do my own projects. And one of the very first things that I did was to use that little happy bug of Fado. And I latched onto that idea of Fado because by then, having burned the CD completely, I knew some of those songs and they meant a lot to me being an immigrant, a Portuguese person in the UK. I knew them and they related to my sense of nostalgia, my sense of belonging somewhere. Not necessarily back at home, but a creative place. Do you know what I mean?

Nuno Silva:

Because sometimes it’s not just where you came from, it’s somewhere where you want to be, and that might not be the place that you left. So when I started creating my own work, I used Fado, this Portuguese traditional type of song to create something and to say something, to say stories, to tell stories through Fado music and also through contemporary dance and storytelling.

Sam McCormick:

With Fado, can you give us just a little bit of background on what Fado involves and the traditions around that?

Nuno Silva:

Of course. Fado, it’s funny because these days I’m mainly learning about yoga. And yesterday we had a webinar about the roots and the history of yoga, how it came about. And I thought that that was so similar to the roots of Fado, because there’s lots of people, “Oh, yoga came from here, came from here,” and Fado is exactly the same thing. So people say, “Oh, Fado came from the Arabs, Fado came from the Aryans. It came from the slaves in the ships. It came from the romance songs in the middle ages.”

Nuno Silva:

There’s so many strands and actually, Fado seems, these days, people seem to agree on that it crystallized somewhere around the Napoleonic Wars. So beginning of the 19th century, 1820s, 1830s in Lisbon mainly. And it was sung by prostitutes, by pimps, so the lowlives by the river in Lisbon where streets were dark and there were brothels, and the prostitutes would sing these songs and they were filthy songs. Because that’s how they would get the customers in.

Sam McCormick:

I see.

Nuno Silva:

So it wasn’t like, (singing). No it’s like, “You filthy so-and-so, come here,” and they would come. So that’s how far, they had to.

Sam McCormick:

Wow.

Nuno Silva:

Yeah, so it started at a very low place, and then eventually it made its way to the palaces, almost like a tourist attraction. So they had to clean themselves and their language. So the traditional setup of Fado is, one singer and two guitarists. One guitar is the classical Spanish guitar, and the other one is a traditional Portuguese guitar, which has shaped like either a pear or a tear, depending on how you want to look at it, and it has five double strings.

Nuno Silva:

The Portuguese guitar accompanies the melody, so accompanies the singer, and the Spanish classical guitar does the rhythm and does the pace. That’s the classical traditional format of Fado, which these days, you have Fado in pop, you have Fado in rock and roll and be on lots of things.

Sam McCormick:

And so, what drew you to Fado for your work? What did you choose to use it for?

Nuno Silva:

I was just so curious about firstly, the origins and how it came about, especially because me being an England and Fado coming from my country of birth and I knew almost nothing of it. So I think it came from that original curiosity of, “What is it actually?” Because my connection to it was this double CD of Amalia’s songs. That’s a very tenured relationship if one can put it that way. So it was about delving a little bit deeper into what it is, and then starting to sing it.

Nuno Silva:

*Because it was, I think it was my way of getting close to the idea of what it actually was rather than just reading about it, to sing because having spent three years at the London Studio Centre, also learning how to sing along with the dancing. And before that I was part of choirs and learning music and stuff, so I had some affinity with song and singing. And then the next obvious step because I was learning how to move and how to dance was to merge it, to bring the singing to the dancing, especially also because I found out that Fado, which these days is only a song, a type of song, Fado used to be danced as well.

Nuno Silva:

So like Flamenco, Flamenco was sung and Flamenco was danced, Fado used to have a dance to it as well, which gradually, it just weather down. And now these days, if you see a traditional Fado singer, they have their chests a bit pumped up and the women use shawls and they use like certain jerky movements of the shoulders and then of the head. And that is a weathered down version of the dance itself. The dance had leg movements, it was almost like a dance off from like R&B and the B-boys and B-girls.

Nuno Silva:

So it was a call and response, but with the movements, with the hips, with the shoulders, and eventually got whittled down to just one person doing small movements as they’re singing and with the melismas which are, is when you’re singing, so for instance, Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, when they’re singing a note, and then they do like frilly bits, like (singing), like that. That’s a melisma, and that physicalization of the voice came from the physicalization of the body. So movements that would give an intonation to the voice.

Nuno Silva:

And I found that so interesting, and then I wanted to just explore that. And because I always loved telling stories, I would find or create some stories and tell those stories through Fado and through dancing.

Sam McCormick:

What an absolutely rich subject. I had no idea about the dance link with Fado.

Nuno Silva:

It’s incredible.

Sam McCormick:

That is absolutely fascinating.

Nuno Silva:

Yeah. Which also came a little bit from Brazil because during the discoveries in the 1500s, 1600s, there was this interaction from Lisbon to Rio or Portugal to Brazil. Lots of boats going to and fro, merchandising people, songs, culture, lots of traditions to and fro, and there’s actually a type of dance in Brazil. I don’t think they dance it now, but they used to called Fado. So some Brazilian say, “Oh, Fado came from Brazil,” which is not true. Not true in the sense that it was something different to what Fado is now.

Nuno Silva:

So it probably might’ve been a strand, which is so incredible and rich, it just enriches obviously. But it’s fascinating, it’s fascinating.

Sam McCormick:

You’re obviously now working on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child or. I know it’s a very strange time to be talking about this at the moment.

Nuno Silva:

Oh no, that’s fine.

Sam McCormick:

So is Fado is your heritage, your exploration into that work still ongoing, even though you have obviously most of your time normally would be taken up with the play?

Nuno Silva:

Yeah. It’s now kind of in a shelf in. My heart has many shelves and one of those shelves is Fado is now temporarily in there. It’s mainly due to time constraints-

Sam McCormick:

Yeah, of course, of course.

Nuno Silva:

… really. When I presented A Darker Shade of Fado, which was a show that I made and Matt Lankford was-

Sam McCormick:

Yes, my lovely husband.

Nuno Silva:

… one of the dancers. Yeah, your lovely husband. He was one of the amazing dancers and he played and he sang, we all did everything. That finished in 2016, which was exactly when I started Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And actually there was an overlap period where we did this final show at King’s College on the strand in Aldridge, and that was, I think the 1st of April, and we had started rehearsals for Harry Potter Cursed Child in February. So I was already rehearsing the Harry Potter and then having to create or adapt this piece because it was like a, not a best of, but it was a Darker Shade of Fado, which was the indoor show.

Nuno Silva:

And then we also did snippets of Soul of Fado, which was the outdoor show that we took around to the outdoor festivals in the UK. And then we had a premiere of a new piece. We had a trio come from Portugal to play and I was singing with them, so it was… But this being the King’s College, they didn’t have a theater. They had like an auditorium that was a multi-use kind of space, but we had to bring in the sound, we had to bring in the floor, everything. So I was already browsing the Harry Potter. It was insane.

Sam McCormick:

Wow.

Nuno Silva:

It was incredible, but it was insane.

Sam McCormick:

Yeah, that’s major.

Nuno Silva:

Yeah, it was major. It felt like a marathon. So then when that finished and I continued with Harry Potter, I was on stage playing the role of Bane and I was also movement captain. So throughout that first year, and then I was doing the second year… So I’ve been there since 2016, so coming up to five years now. So during my first two years, I was onstage. First year, I was also movement captain, and the second year I was made resident movement director, so I was looking after the audition process for the movement side, rehearsing, the understudies and the main cast, everything.

Nuno Silva:

And then the third and fourth year, I left the stage side just to focus on the resident movement director side of it. And they would send me out to other productions that started opening up. So I went to Broadway to help set that up there, I did a round of auditions in Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago. And then last year, they sent me over to Hamburg for the opening of the Harry Potter und das verwunschene Kind, which is the very first non English speaking production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Nuno Silva:

So I got to stay there for five months, which is incredible, I loved it. And the cast and the team, the production team, the stage managing, everybody was incredible. I loved it. And then just one day, the day before the press night, that’s when Germany said, “Okay, COVID is too much, we are going to.” So we postponed one day before press night and it’s still being postponed, which is sad. I actually came back, so that was a Friday, the 13th, Friday, 13th when it got postponed in March.

Nuno Silva:

And I came back to London on the Saturday because on the Monday we were going to start rehearsals for the new cast, year five in London. And that was Monday the 16th, so we actually started rehearsals. And then Boris said that social distancing measures had to be implemented and we were told to go home. So we did one half day, maybe half day of work, and then we were sent home and ever since.

Sam McCormick:

Yeah, ever since, I know. So how often does the cast change in the London show?

Nuno Silva:

Yearly.

Sam McCormick:

Yearly. Okay. And it’s around that time then, so you just got a new cast-

Nuno Silva:

Exactly.

Sam McCormick:

… which is a massive process to get to that point, I can imagine as well.

Nuno Silva:

Oh my Dumbledore. Yes, completely. We start or auditioning people roundabouts September, sometimes in August. We have open calls for performers who are younger or haven’t gone to college, but want to know what this is all about, so we just do open calls for people. And then September, we start auditioning everybody, everybody. And then sometimes it goes well into December with those additions so that we start rehearsals in March. And then rehearsals are about two-and-a-half months until the premiere of the new cast around the end of May.

Nuno Silva:

And then after the premiere, we still have a good two months to rusty on the studies, and then everything is open and people can take holidays and yeah. And the show is safe, is in safe hands because we’ve taught not just the main cast. They’re all the main cast, but the main cast, the swings and the covers, the understudies.

Sam McCormick:

Can you just explain what a swing and a cover is for those of us who are not in that world?

Nuno Silva:

Of course, yes. It’s funny because sometimes people think also that the principles are more important, and then there’s the understudies, and then the swing, and it’s not like that at all. If anything, for the wellbeing of the show, it’s actually the other way around. So the swings, a swing is a performer whose job it is to learn several tracks in the show so that if there’s an illness or an injury, this swing, that performer can jump straight into the show and they will know what to do, where to change their lines, songs, if their songs in our show, there’s no songs, the props, where to get them and the show runs smoothly.

Sam McCormick:

Wow.

Nuno Silva:

So a swing will learn several different trucks. And then we have the understudies, which it’s almost like a swing, but the understudies, their role is to study or understudy just a few main roles. For instance, you have the Harry Potter role, or the Hermione role, or the Ron role. And you’ve got understudy number one, understudy number two, and sometimes understudy number three. And again, it’s their job if the performer who’s being Harry Potter is either ill, or injured, or on holiday, they will step up and they will… They’ve been briefed, they’ve been rehearsed throughout the whole period and the show can go on smoothly.

Nuno Silva:

So the audience can still enjoy the whole show and also us on stage, we feel secure that the understudies and the swings know what they’re doing and we can support each other mutually. So those are other roles, so the main cast, the understudies and the swings. Swings can also be understudies. Yeah-

Sam McCormick:

Wow. It’s-

Nuno Silva:

… it’s quite complicated.

Sam McCormick:

… very complicated. And what an absolute talent to be a swing in the sense of, and all of them, but particularly the idea of just jumping in anywhere that it could be. Absolutely incredible. And I see what you mean about how they… That’s essential, isn’t it? For the show to be up and running and safe as you say.

Nuno Silva:

Completely. And sometimes the swing has to go on mid show because either somebody feels sickly or has a halfway and we need to call it, “Okay, you’re Ron.” And part of my job, my role is to ensure that a swing or an understudy, anybody who has an active role in the show knows what they need to do with safety and with confidence so that they can just go and do their best and things run smoothly, and it’s a good show for the audience and for everybody backstage.

Sam McCormick:

Amazing. Now I know that we… I’ve seen the show, I will not say anything about what happens because-

Nuno Silva:

Keep the secrets!

Sam McCormick:

Yes. Hashtag, Keep the secrets. Do not worry, we will not talk about it. But it is incredible and I look forward to when it’s able to be-

Nuno Silva:

Yes.

Sam McCormick:

… on again.

Nuno Silva:

So do I.

Sam McCormick:

What’s your favorite thing about your role working on the play?

Nuno Silva:

My role has changed over these years, over these five years, and I have loved every single minute of it. Whereas before I was onstage and a creative as well as a movement captain and a rehearsal director, I was able to have both worlds. So being able to perform, and I’ve always been very physical with my performance coming from a dance background, acrobatics background. I love to be active, I love to move and I love to be engaged and involved. So much so that when we were making the show and the choreographer, Steven Hoggett with his assistant Neil Betos, we would be making a choreography or a transition, and it was very, what’s the word? Communal. So it was very collaborative. That’s the word? Yes.

Nuno Silva:

So Steven would give us some tasks or give us snippets of movement, and then we would create something and then give it back to him and he would shape it so lovely. I love these kind of processes. And I was always raring in okay, “I’ll do it, I’ll do it,” so much so that people look at me like, “Nuno, calm down,” or the other way around like if people were tired like, “Nuno will do it.” And I’m always up for that. I’m always, always up for for tries to fall. So I loved that about when I was on stage and creating it.

Nuno Silva:

And then obviously I had… It was also part of my job to make sure that the choreography and the movement, the quality was there once we opened and once we rehearse the understudies and the new casts. It was also down to me and other people to make sure that we would pass on important information, tools so that everybody got the most out of that experience so that they could do the best job that they could to the audience.

Nuno Silva:

Once I left the stage and I became just the rehearsal movement director, which was something that I couldn’t do so much in terms of show-watching. So one of the most important things that a rehearsal movement director has to do is to show-watch, to see if there’s anything that needs adjusting, or rehearsing, or give praise, obviously. They’re amazing performers. And one of the most enjoyable things for me was being in the audience and then hearing the gasps of people go, “Oh, that was incredible.”

Nuno Silva:

And then just they would turn around to complete strangers sometimes, because they didn’t know it and “Oh, that was incredible. How did they do that? That was magical.” And then in the breaks, in the pauses, I would linger a little bit and just hear the comments of people. And mostly, they were so positive and so in awe of the staging, of performances, of the music as well. Because even though it’s not a musical, the music is absolutely gorgeous, as is the magic and the costumes, and waits and everything.

Nuno Silva:

And when I got to go to Hamburg to set up this time as the associate movement director, I got to take them all, so take the performers and the stage crew. I would lead a warmup every morning for an hour and I would invite everybody, creatives, performers, stage crew to be part of it and to lead them through that path. So from day one of rehearsals and we do very physical things because Steven, he’s like, “A performer’s a body and mind needs to be strong. It needs to be flexible.”

Nuno Silva:

We have to have stamina because these are long days, there’s two plays. We do three double, so a matinee and evening on a Wednesday, and Saturday, and Sunday. So it’s-

Sam McCormick:

Wow. It’s more than-

Nuno Silva:

… hot… yeah.

Sam McCormick:

… your average West End show, isn’t it?

Nuno Silva:

Absolutely. The good thing is that we have two days off rather than just the one, because we have the double on the weekend. The performance need to be fit, need to be healthy, and for me, it was so incredible to lead them or help them through that journey of self discovery and empowerment from day one of rehearsals till the day before the premiere, which will come around, it’s fine, it will all come around.

Sam McCormick:

In terms of now, the continual effect that the pandemic is having on the West End and on theaters, on performers all over the world, how have you and your team dealt with wellbeing for the cast and for everybody involved?

Nuno Silva:

I’m going to start just for my own perspective. Straight away from that first week, the week of the 16th of March, on the Wednesday, I decided to start teaching some Zoom yoga classes and HIIT classes as well just to keep people going. Because by then we didn’t quite know when we would come back or not, so I was like, “You know what? Let’s just do this like every other day.” So three times a week. So maybe on a Monday it would be half an hour of HIIT or Tabata, so energetic class, and then straight into a yoga class. So half an hour.

Nuno Silva:

And if people didn’t have time, I would tell people, “You can do as much or as little as you want. You don’t even need to do this. These classes are just here if you need them. Even if you just want to sit down with a cup of tea and have the screen on and see other people sweating and cursing me at the same time, absolutely fine.” It’s just a way of keeping that contact and that connection going through those days and those weeks and months. And I opened this for the London and the Hamburg productions.

Nuno Silva:

So sometimes we’d have like 50 people join in, sometimes it’d be 30, sometimes be 20, it’s whatever they would want to do. And it was funny because in Hamburg, they would do every other day, so if I would do Monday, Wednesday, Friday, in Hamburg, they would do like Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. So people, if they wanted to do one day and couldn’t make the other, they could swap, they could change around. And I found for me personally, that kept me going, because not just from a physical point of view, but from a mental point of view, because I would have to prepare these classes and I would have so much joy preparing them.

Nuno Silva:

So for the HIIT workouts, I would sort out the sort of exercises, the press-ups, and the squats, and the high planks, and shoulder taps. I would prepare the playlist as well, so I would really customize the tracks so that they were uplifting and nice beats. And then for the yoga, I would get nice, cool down music so that people could relax. I would find quotes of that specific day, say if it was, I don’t know, the 4th of May, who was born on that day in history and were they inspirational people, and what did they say?

Nuno Silva:

So I would look up the quotes of the people that they had said, and if they were inspirational, I would say throughout the class.

Sam McCormick:

Oh, love that.

Nuno Silva:

Like actually this morning, I taught again another class and it was Tina Turner’s birthday.

Sam McCormick:

Whoa

Nuno Silva:

Yeah, it’s her birthday today and actually I’ve got a quote here from her. What did she say? What did she say? Tina said that I believe that if you just stand up and go, life will open up for you.

Sam McCormick:

Oh, lovely.

Nuno Silva:

I love that. And that’s between sun salutation A and sun salutation B.

Sam McCormick:

Brilliant.

Nuno Silva:

That has kept me going. And I think and I hope that the cast and everybody who has joined these classes, they take something positive from these classes because some people have been able to do, to work, to do some things, some others haven’t. I have chosen a little bit not to… No, it’s not that I’ve chosen not to work, but I’m not actively looking for work. One I’m on furlough, which is so… It’s a Dumbledore offend, and the other reason is because as soon as we knew that we weren’t going to reopen like in October, I think this is like June time, they were like, “Okay, only 2021.” I decided to study yoga and study personal training.

Nuno Silva:

So I started my yoga teacher’s training, the 200 hours because even though I knew about yoga, and I knew how to practice, and how to teach yoga, very basic. It was all empirical, so it was all through my own personal experience with dance companies and warm-ups on stage and stuff, so it was very minuscule, my knowledge. So I decided, as soon as we understood that we’re going to be closed for a lot longer, I was like, “Okay. That will enable me time-wise to actually invest in a course and go and study.” So I did that. So I did my 200 hours.

Nuno Silva:

On the back of the 200 hours, there was 300 that was going to happen as well, but there was a hiatus of about a month before the course was open. So I decided to study level two personal training, which is the entry level of personal training. So I’ve done that, I finished that. And before I start my level three PT, I went back to the yoga because right now it’s very close to my heart. So I started my 300-hour yoga. And then once I finish that, I will go back and finish my level three PT.

Nuno Silva:

And this is mainly obviously to keep me going, to keep me sane and give me some sense of schedule and goal-setting in my life, but also in the future if I need to move either back to Portugal, or to Spain, or say, if the theaters still remain… If it’s complicated, I will have the means to go into another job that is close to my heart and I’ll have more knowledge. And the second thing that told me you should do this is also because when I’m teaching the performers in Harry Potter, leading rehearsals, leading auditions.

Nuno Silva:

The fact that hopefully by the end of this COVID time, that I would have more knowledge about the body, about yoga, about exercises, and I can impart my knowledge with those performance so I can help them be a better performer, be a better human being physical, mentally. So yeah, those two main kind of reasons, different job and imparting with more knowledge to others. Those are my sources of inspiration.

Sam McCormick:

I can only speak from my experience, but I think when you work very closely with performers or any sort of very close process, which the arts, is quite hard to explain how close you can build a family in a rehearsal process if you’ve not been in it before. I always find that difficult to put into words, but I can imagine, like you were saying, the journey of leading the whole team backstage, on stage through that process in normal times before COVID and the journey that you’re seeing them go on, it’s fundamental to people’s lives, isn’t it? It’s not just a job, it sort of-

Nuno Silva:

No.

Sam McCormick:

… it makes them who they are in a way.

Nuno Silva:

Yeah. It’s to give them trust, because without trust in such a small and enclosed environment, it can be quite difficult. So it’s to be open and like you were saying, to carry everybody with the same respect, and confidence, and nurturing, and love, and support.

Sam McCormick:

Absolutely. And that just becomes more important and more and more important. Doesn’t it? When this is taken away, all of a sudden, very unexpectedly.

Nuno Silva:

One of the things that I would always do, or that we would always do in rehearsals during the warmups is to allow people to walk around in any direction and then find somebody else, give them a hug and then release. Continue walking, find somebody else, give them another hug, which is so… And it was important pre COVID, and now we can’t really do it. But once this whole time is done with, I cannot wait to go back into the studio and give people hugs. I love giving people hugs.

Sam McCormick:

Me too. I keep envisaging that. That’s what’s keeping me going, little like daydreaming of what it’ll be like to get that group back together and the big hug everybody’s going to get.

Nuno Silva:

Yeah, oh.

Sam McCormick:

Just amazing.

Nuno Silva:

It will happen.

Sam McCormick:

It will.

Nuno Silva:

It will happen.

Sam McCormick:

It will.

Nuno Silva:

I’m so confident.

Sam McCormick:

So what’s the plan at the moment? I know that plans are nothing is set in stone, but we’re looking at 2021 for the play to be back in some form.

Nuno Silva:

Yes. There is nothing set in stone. I think I saw, I don’t know if it was the government or I read on the website that in a year’s time, I think life might come to what it was before, to some normality. So if that’s in a year’s time, hopefully a few months before, I don’t know, August, September, we might be able to start rehearsals so that we could open. But this is me just conjecturing, if that’s such a word.

Sam McCormick:

And there’s obviously the rehearsal process to bear in mind. It’s not just putting a show back on, is it? There’s a huge-

Nuno Silva:

No.

Sam McCormick:

… amount of work before a show-

Nuno Silva:

Huge.

Sam McCormick:

… can be there.

Nuno Silva:

And it’s going to be a year since we were all together and people forget, not just lines, but movements, technical, because it’s a very complex show. So, it’s going to take a while. But in the meantime, all we can do is to keep learning, keep exploring, keep… Even if you have to stay at home because you’re self isolating, there’s so much you can do. There’s yoga, there’s lots of exercise. There’s apps, there’s YouTube that is free, there’s lots of books. There’s podcasts like the one that you’re doing, there’s an incredible array of things to stimulate your mind and your body.

Nuno Silva:

I’m a firm believer of not keeping still, even though you are still inside the house. There’s so much to do and so many outlets these days, so many sources to keep your mind and your body engaged. We’re so lucky.

Sam McCormick:

We are incredibly lucky to have this option and to be able to connect. And I think when you’re using your creative skills still to think about how can I use this new way of working and how can we still find benefit in this and find something new that maybe we wouldn’t get in the studio together or?

Nuno Silva:

Absolutely.

Sam McCormick:

Nuno, thank you so much. I’m sending massive virtual hugs to everyone at the moment.

Nuno Silva:

Yes. Me too, me too. I receive yours, I receive yours. It’s here, it’s here. I’m warm already

Sam McCormick:

Love it.

Nuno Silva:

Thank you.

Sam McCormick:

And let’s just keep that in our minds of when everybody’s going to be back together and those lovely big hugs when that happens. And good luck with your yoga as well.

Nuno Silva:

Yes, yes. Yeah. I also teach Harry Potter themed yoga classes.

Sam McCormick:

I love your use of the characters. That’s all I’m going to say. I’m going to let people find out for themselves, but it’s fantastic. I love it.

Nuno Silva:

Thank you so much.

Sam McCormick:

So yeah, wishing you all the best and thank you again.

Nuno Silva:

You too. Thank you, Sam.

Sam McCormick:

Thank you, Nuno for that uplifting, warm and fascinating chat. I wish the whole at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and everyone involved in theater shows, productions and events, all the love for 2021. I know it’s hard at the moment, but let’s keep thinking of those days and we will be reunited. That goes for you to our lovely listeners. Creating this podcast has been a real journey of discovery, vulnerability, and learning for me, and I’m so grateful to you for coming along for the ride.

Sam McCormick:

I hope you found inspiration, comfort, and entertainment in this series. And I look forward to bringing you the next one. We’d love to hear your feedback, do you have a favorite episode or a topic you’d like us to chat about? Get in touch? You can email us on hello@curiousmotion.org.uk, or send us a message on social media. A big thank you to the Coronavirus Community Support Fund distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund, the Adventure Program and the Community Foundation for Calderdale for supporting the launch of this podcast. We are a very small not-for-profit organization and your support means the world to us.

Sam McCormick:

Finally, I wish you a peaceful, healthy and restful Christmas period however you are spending it. I know it might feel tough, but remember you are not alone, and do reach out for support if you need it. You can find some information on this on our website. We will be back in the new year to keep you company too. Until then, thank you so much for listening. Remember to tune into your body, be kind to yourself and stay curious. Bye.