Interview: 5 minutes with...James Holmes

Part of the influence on the form of Not Waving is to acknowledge the effect that the temporary communities that are formed in my life as an actress have had on my mental health. So, as I am currently on tour with a theatrical company (Ray Cooney’s Out of Order) I have asked some of those brilliant actors I am on tour with to be in my short film and they’ve been overwhelmingly kind in their


One of the actors I’ve managed to rope in is the wonderful James Holmes who was stunning as Emory in the West-end run of Boys in the Band earlier this year and is now playing the Waiter in Cooney’s Out of Order and provoking much belly laughter around the country.

I caught up with him for ‘5 minutes with…’ last week whilst the tour was in Oxford…

Kate Sawyer: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your involvement in Not Waving?

James Holmes: I’m James Holmes. I’m playing a drowning man in Not Waving.

KS: Where are you right now?

JH: In a dressing room in Oxford New Theatre.

James Holmes as The Waiter in Out of Order, currently touring the UK

KS: So your character, Stevie, is drowning in the film. Is that art imitating life?

JH: I'm a crap swimmer but I've been improving while on this tour of Out of Order. I’ve swum in the sea and been to a few pools.

KS: Even if you aren’t great at swimming I’m assuming as you are still going for it you’ve never had am experience of nearly drowning?

JH: Nope.

KS: That is good news…so we’re filming in Southend-on-sea in less than a weeks time! When did you last go to the seaside?

JH: Earlier on this tour, we went to Cornwall and I body boarded for the first time.

KS: Do you have a favourite beach in the UK?

JH: Not really.

KS: How about a favourite memory from a British beach?

JH: Phil Daniels driving his motorbike off a cliff in Quadrophenia

KS: Ha ha! One of my favourite films too. Not Waving gets its title from a Stevie Smith Poem. Do you have a favourite poem?

JH: Much Madness is divinest Sense by Emily Dickenson

Much Madness is divinest Sense -

To a discerning Eye -

Much Sense - the starkest Madness -

’Tis the Majority

In this, as all, prevail -

Assent - and you are sane -

Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -

And handled with a Chain –

KS: James, I love that poem and it’s new to me! Thanks for the introduction. Okay a little quick fire: Ice cream or Cockles?

JH: Cockles

KS: Waving or Drowning?

JH: Waving

KS: Sunbathe or swim in the sea?

JH: Swim

KS: What are you most looking forward to about your role in making Not Waving?

JH: A day at the beach.

Follow James on Twitter @jamesholmes19. He is on tour with Out of Order next week in Southend and the final week in Nottingham following that. Book tickets here:

*Please donate to our crowdfunding campaign to help get Not Waving and Lawnmower made and submitted to festivals. You can DONATE HERE as little as £5 helps us and there are great perks attached to all levels of funding!*

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