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Friday 17 Apr 2009

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All The Small Things press pack: Richard Fleeshman plays Kyle Caddick

Richard Fleeshman plays Kyle Caddick, Esther's (Sarah Lancashire) and Michael's (Neil Pearson) musically gifted son who provides much of the inspiration for Esther's choir.

Richard was already a fan of writer Debbie Horsfield's work, and even more so after reading the scripts for All The Small Things.

"It was one of the best scripts I'd ever read! The characters are so fully formed, Debbie has such an amazing way of giving you everything you need and it was just a great read from start to finish.

"It was very ambitious and hadn't really been done – to keep the drama in the genre of drama rather than a musical, but to have so much music in it, it was a great thing to be a part of."

Although Richard's experience as a musician helped him with the part, it also initially posed some challenges.

"Music features for my character Kyle quite a lot – but it was important that I was performing as Kyle would, not becoming 'Richard' as soon as I started singing. That was the hardest thing to get right, the music had to be truthful to the character."

Kyle's character is described as 'gifted' and 'a solitary soul', which made him appealing to play. Richard explains him as "very different, and very gifted". Though not referred to directly we suspect he has a mild case of autism along the lines of Asperger's syndrome.

"Debbie [Horsfield] was incredibly insightful and we had long talks about where she saw the character going and how she viewed Kyle.

"He's highly intelligent, which means he has some difficulty with interaction and social skills. He's very enigmatic and very logical, obsessive and totally literal, so if you say something to him he takes it on face value. In his naivety, he also has a lot of wisdom."

Kyle goes on quite a journey throughout the series, part of which revolves around him meeting Grace, his neighbour's granddaughter, who finds an appealing quality in Kyle's uniqueness.

On their friendship Richard says: "He certainly goes on a great journey with Grace because she brings out of him emotions that no one else who he mixes with in his life does. He grows a lot, and starts to understand things a lot more."

Richard's father, actor David Fleeshman, is also appearing in All The Small Things – as the bigoted Gilbert Tonks who is in a 'rival' choir to Kyle's.

On working with his dad Richard says: "We had a few good scenes together – it was great! I've been reading lines with my mum and dad for as long as I can remember so it feels pretty natural to be working with him."

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