Playwright John Godber talks about his new production at Derby Theatre
John Godber answers questions about his new play, Losing the Plot, which comes to Derby next month.
QWhat made you want to write this play?
AEvery play comes from somewhere, but it is often quite difficult to pinpoint why I write a particular play. I guess stresses and strains of daily life can be seen all over the place and I felt especially wounded for the teachers of art, drama and music, at the prospect of their subjects not being at the core of the school curriculum.
Imagine if a teacher had dedicated himself to artistic endeavour within school to discover it was potentially being phased out?
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QHow did you go about casting Losing The Plot?
AThe casting for any play is crucial, and even more so for a two-hander. I have worked with Steve and Sue (actors Steve Huison and Susan Cookson) before and I am a fan of their work, so I was delighted and flattered when they agreed to be in the play before I had written it.
This places me under extreme pressure to write something decent for them, but since I have been doing this for almost 30 years it never crosses my mind that it is not the way to work.
QHas the recent economic climate led to increased pressure on Jack and Sally's family life and in turn influenced the decisions they make?
AI have always been a firm believer that for theatre to remain relevant it has to reflect and answer conditions in society at large, and whilst I'm largely known as a writer of comedies I always try to reflect current issues, even if, sometimes, the themes aren't always visible in the play.
QHow does this play and its themes compare to your previous work?
AI have written a number of two-handers but never one with such a realistic core. Steve and Sue made a leap of faith by agreeing to do the play without seeing it, so I wanted to give them detailed characters with real problems so they could use all their expertise in bringing the characters to life.
On the other hand, for a man who has played rugby on stage, done judo on stage and skied on stage this is a very traditional piece of work, nevertheless it is a piece of work I am extremely proud of.
WHAT: Losing The Plot
WHERE: Derby Theatre
WHEN: February 12-14, 7.30pm, Saturday matinee 2.30pm.
TICKETS: Call 01332 593939 or visit www.derbytheatre.co.uk