Stars prepare for ‘first-of-its-kind’ transatlantic play

Actor Greg Germann admits he does not know what to expect ahead of starring in a “first-of-its kind” transatlantic stage performance.

The Grey’s Anatomy star will perform alongside Jassa Ahluwalia and Sophie Melville in Herding Cats, a hybrid in-person and live-streamed production.

He will appear from Los Angeles while his co-stars will be on stage at London’s Soho Theatre.

The performance is available online for international audiences and in person under social distancing guidelines in the UK.

Herding Cats
Gregg Germann, Jassa Ahluwalia and Sophie Melville will star in Herding Cats, a transatlantic production billed as the first of its kind by producers (Stellar Original/PA)

Germann, also known for appearing in 1990s legal drama Ally McBeal, compared the ground-breaking nature of the production to walking into an abyss.

He told the PA news agency: “Somebody said to me the other day, ‘Are you nervous?’ I said, ‘I’m not right now’. That concerns me a bit because I don’t have that normal surge of fear and adrenaline you naturally get as you’re walking around the theatre that’s going to be filled with people. So I’m very curious what this will be like once it’s live.

“I really have no idea what to expect. It’s almost like trying to conceive of a colour you’ve never seen before. I just don’t know what it’s going to look like, I have no idea. Right now it’s like walking off into an abyss.”

Directed by Anthony Banks, Lucinda Coxon’s Herding Cats is described by producers as a “chillingly funny play about a generation negotiating intimacy and independence in the 21st century”.

Herding Cats
Gregg Germann will be beamed in from Los Angeles while his Herding Cats co-star Jassa Ahluwalia will appear on stage in London (Stellar Original/PA)

Ahluwalia plays Michael, Melville plays the character of Justine, and Germann portrays Saddo.

Germann, 63, is working with a much-reduced team in Los Angeles and welcomed the intimate nature of the production.

He said: “There’s literally me and two other people. So there’s something about it on my end at least that’s really intimate, which is quite enjoyable as an actor because there’s just nobody here really.”

Germann compared the play to the crowded sets found in film and TV and said: “Here they start a take and the two people who are here helping step aside and it’s as if I’m alone. Like most of us I do my best work singing in the shower or alone in my room so this is perfect.”

Germann, who describes Herding Cats as “deceptively complicated”, said he was excited to eventually perform in person on stage in the UK.

He added: “I realise I’m making my London stage debut by literally phoning in my performance.”

Herding Cats, a Stellar Original production, will run from May 19-22.

For in-person and streaming tickets, go to www.herdingcatsplay.com