High Sives as Jamie back at the theatre where he made his point

James Sives - The Pride
James Sives - The Pride
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THE last time Jamie Sives was at the Crucible he had to shove a poker where the sun doesn’t shine.

It was 10 years ago in the role of Lightborne in Edward II, Joseph Fiennes the recipient.

Since then Jamie has appeared in 20 films, including Get Him To The Greek, Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself and Clash Of The Titans, and TV shows such as Silent Witness and New Tricks.

“Edward II kicked everything off for me,” says Jamie in a break from rehearsing as Philip in The Pride, “with regards television and films.”

His part in The Greek came about when the film’s controversial star invited him and other chums along to be part of an on-screen entourage.

“I went to drama school with Russell Brand so have known him for 16 years, went to his stag do, and he asked me to do The Greek because we hadn’t hung out in a long time. I’d been very busy, but he phoned up and I had a week off the Titans shoot. No lines, but we hung out for a week, had a ball, the best week of filming I’ve had in a long time.”

And not bad for someone who came late into acting as a “last chance saloon”.

“I tried most things. The job that pushed me over the edge was six years in an insurance company prior to going to drama school. Seven years prior to that I went all over the place,” says the actor, largely known for film and TV.

“It keeps the kettle boiling. I’ve been in some howlers as well, but never mind. It’s just the way that it’s fallen really. I get into one sort of area and that breeds work usually in the same area.

“In between plays I need six years hiatus just to get my brains back, just to recover.”

And he may need just that after The Pride, just his third stage role. Jamie saw another friend play Philip, as did friend Richard Wilson, at London’s Royal Court theatre.

“I like the challenge. When you’re filming you get a schedule and you have to do this on that day at that time and be ready for it. With this you’re out there with a live audience. You get a run at things and the whole rehearsal process is a great time to kick start your brain again.

“I think this is tougher for Oliver’s character. The 1958 stuff is more demanding on him and what he is trying to discover about himself. The 2008 stuff is more Oliver’s journey and Philip can’t get his head around the way Oliver lives. Philip is a photographer and has gone to places like Palestine, he’s been to places, but he doesn’t quite understand this whole promiscuous lifestyle Oliver seems to be unable to shake.

“I am sure most actors would tell you it’s great to pop between characters during a scene change. It’s a stonking little play, really well written, a lot going on. Physically there’s a lot to do. It’s all fun though. And I hope there will be a lot of laughs; there’s some wonderful turns of phrase and retorts and situations.”

He’s less shy about his part in the Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, when he got to be saucy with Billie Piper.

“My character and my girl were trying to cajole her into having a threesome at this sex party thing, but it didn’t transpire. She finds the reality quite seedy.’’