Robert Harper

Robert Harper

Robert Harper

Robert has always had an immense passion for radio, which began after receiving a Highly Commended award for his entry into the Carlton Hobbs competition in his last year of attending the Welsh College of Music Drama in ’94. During his first two years working in theatre and T.I.E. for companies such as Made In Wales and Theatr Iolo, he also worked hard at realising his dream of working for the BBC Radio Drama Company. A number of of roles in BBC Radio Wales productions ensued and then an audition for the RDC landed him a 12 month contract. That year gave him an amazing opportunity to work with numerous wonderful producers, writers and actors and to fully immerse himself in the medium of dramatic radio production.

He’s acted in over 200 radio plays and radio serials, a selection of which include Against The Grain, Aunt Julia and The Scriptwriter, Einstein In Cromer, People Like Us, The Tree of Liberty, War & Peace, Anna Karenina, and was also a lead character, Matt in BBC Wales radio soap opera Station Road.

Robert is also an experienced voice artist, having recorded commercials, computer games, TV narration, short stories, animation and much more for companies worldwide.

Not just a pretty voice, Robert has performed on TV in The Bench, Dirty Work, The Bill, and Tati’s Hotel, and in a number of Short Films and Features.

His theatre work includes the Corman/Grimes in Serious Money for Waking Exploits, the Duke in Measure for Measure, Launce in Two Genteleman of Verona, Séan Tyrone, Fragments of Ash, and can be seen this June/July in Invisible for Next Page Productions.

Robert is also co-founder of County Channel TV and Artistic Director of Bare Fiction, with which he is planning a national project for 2014.

In EarCandy he performs the roles of the King of the Ducks in Duck by Debbie Moon, Baz in The Extension by Carmel George, D in Cursed by Sandra Bendelow, Joe in Starlings by Sarah Taylor, The Man in Lost by Branwen Davies and PIP in Rules are Rules by Dean Scott.

What interested you about being involved in the EarCandy project?
I love acting in audio drama. Every time I get a whiff of a chance of performing for radio, the excitement and anticipation of the project courses through me. Having worked with Scriptography on play readings for some of the writers, it was an added bonus to be experiencing their work through a different medium. And it’s such an unusual project, with a dozen short pieces by different writers, offering a rare chance at playing a number of completely different characters.

Which was your favourite role to perform in EarCandy and why?
My favourite? That’s hard. The King of the Ducks was memorable because it was the first character of mine that we recorded, and obviously, during recording, we had a lot of fun playing the levels of duck noise within the speech. Of course, playing a bell has it’s challenges too, and I can’t wait to hear how Tom has incorporated my thoughts on the character into the soundscape. All of the roles were extremely enjoyable to play, due to the breadth of types, but the hardest was the man in Lost. Hard because of the emotion in the peace. It’s one of those terribly moving scripts that makes you cry when you’re reading it, so you have to overcome the feelings of the listener, and simply be true to the character you’re playing.

You have just been cast in an episode of Archers what does that mean to you as a radio actor?
It’s dream I’ve had for 20 years, since first becoming involved with radio drama, so of course I’m thrilled. I worked on radio drama in the same studio they use to use in BBC Pebble Mill, but this will be my first time in the new studio at the Mailbox. There’s something lovely things about the studio set up that I can’t wait to see, but it’ll be all over far too quickly. They can definitely expect me to keep knocking on the audio door for more.

You have done a vast amount of radio acting what is the strangest thing you’ve been asked to as a radio performance?
When I was a member of the BBC radio drama company in ’96, I was often asked to play characters with varying accents, and, thankfully, regularly lived up to the challenge. One time, producer Sally Avens came up to me in the drama office to talk about the serial of Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter. Sally asked me, quite calmly, “Can you do Spanish Chicago?”, to which my only possible reply was, “When by?”.

What other projects do you have coming up either as an actor or with your company Bare Fiction?
After the EarCandy launch I’m off to Birmingham to start rehearsals for a new play, Invisible by Liz John & Julia Wright, touring the Midlands. With Bare Fiction we are in the early stages of pre-production for a new play by Lisa Parry called Blood, which will also go on tour. And for 2014 and beyond, I’m planning a big new writing project to take new writing, Bare Fiction style, across the whole of the country with 40 Plays in 40 Nights.

The EarCandy plays are available to listen to at the EarCandy website.


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