During what would have been Spoleto Festival USA’s 44th season, we’ve spoken with several artists who were slated to arrive in Charleston about their weeks in quarantine. How do they stay motivated to practice? What’s in their ovens? How do the folks who inspire us so much stay inspired themselves? Our “What I’m Watching” series asks just that. Read on this week to hear from Romantics Anonymous star Marc Antolin.

Spoletogoers will remember Marc Antolin as Marc Chagall in the 2018 production of The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Emma Rice’s staggeringly beautiful work for theater company Kneehigh. An Olivier Award nominated actor, Antolin has also performed with companies including Shakespeare’s Globe, National Theatre, and Young Vic, among others. During the 2020 season of Spoleto Festival USA, Antolin was scheduled to play chocolatier Jean-René in Romantics Anonymous. Now staying with family in Wales, Antolin tells us what’s on his daily to-do lists.

What are you binge-watching?

I devoured Ozark and Unorthodox and am incredibly excited by the arrival of Hollywood on Netflix. I watched episode 1 last night; I am a sucker for the glamour of old-school movies and Los Angeles.

What tops your recent Spotify playlists?

Harry Styles, The 1975, and a bit of ’80s’ power-ballad nostalgia.

What podcast are you into right now?

I’m trying to get back into podcasts, so feel free to suggest some to me. Emma Rice and Wise Children have started doing a “Tea and Biscuits” show every Tuesday and Thursday, on which is Emma chats with theater friends, plays some records, and provides insight into how work is made. I recorded the first episode with her and we played some excerpts from Flying Lovers of Vitebsk and Romantics Anonymous. I really hope we can bring that to Spoleto in the future. Listen to the podcast at wisechildrendigital.com under “Tea and Biscuits.” You’re welcome.

What book is on your bedside table?

There are loads! I’m addicted to buying books that I usually never have the time to read. Now, however, I’m working my way through them quite quickly. I’ve recently finished Ask The Dust, by John Fante, which tells the story of a writer’s time in Los Angeles with big dreams, who’s grappling with the reality of being in a city gripped by poverty and trying to make his way. I’ve also just started reading Normal People, by Sally Rooney, and it’s wonderful.

Do you have a go-to cookbook? Or, any guilty-pleasure snacks?

I toyed with the idea of going vegan, so I’ve been making recipes from the Thug Kitchen’s cookbook. Those chefs are from California. I usually Google recipes when I need them; anything with wine in the ingredients is a winner with me, and I’m getting good at making cocktails. Now that we’re talking about food, I’m majorly craving some shrimp and grits.

Do you have quarantine buddies?

I’m at home in Wales with my Mum. My family lives quite close, so we’re doing lots of social distant chats over garden walls.

What’s your quarantine schedule?

I get up and make sure I exercise first thing so I don’t have to think about it all day. Then I’ll get myself ready and have a long coffee catching up with friends, and maybe go for a walk down the beach to clear my head and get some sea air. I’m learning to speak the Welsh language, so I’ll do some of that and then some reading and writing until it’s time to open a bottle of wine and make some dinner before watching movies or TV if I don’t have a Zoom quiz.

How are you continuing your daily practice?

I was very conscious at the beginning of lock-down to keep up with everything, but it’s very rare for an actor to have any time off as one is always searching or preparing for the next role. So I’ve really enjoyed making myself have a break; it’s good for my body, voice, and, more importantly, my head.

What are you most looking forward to when things get back to normal?

So much. It’s crazy what you miss—even mundane things like sitting outside a coffee shop and people watching. I’m most looking forward to getting to a place when we can all gather, and I can be silly onstage with friends, share stories and have fun, and then head to the pub after for a few drinks.


Want more? Keep up with Marc Antolin on Instagram @marcantolin. Visit wisechildrendigital.com to get more from Emma Rice and her company, Wise Children. And be sure to follow @SpoletoFestivalUSA on Instagram for more Spoleto at Home content.