The writer chatted to us about his play ‘Time’ heading to the Tristan Bates Theatre from the 10th to the 15th February.
Hi Michael thanks for talking to me. Could you explain what ‘Time’ is about? Time is based on real people and true events. Based in a pub is South London Time tells the story for four villains after an armed robbery goes wrong. However it is about more than just crime – Time looks at the relationships between these men, why they are in the situation they are in and what the future might hold for them. Time questions the morality of these people. This said Time is a comedy and although there are some moving and powerful moments and the play might tackle difficult issues essentially I am a comedy writer and the hope of the play, like with my other works is to entertain and make people laugh then if they are moved that is a welcome bonus.
How does it feel now that ‘Time’ is coming to the stage? Time will be my sixth stage play and every time is no different there is always a mixture of excitement, pride and worry…all in equal measure. I am so proud that it has been picked up by a great London theatre in The Tristan Bates and so proud to be working alongside such an amazing cast in David Schaal, Paul Danan and Daniel O’Reily but of course nerves always hit, I am also in the show which adds to my anxiety, my wife deserves a medal. But as soon as it’s curtain up on opening night and the you get the feedback from the audience it makes it all worth while. The cast did a first read through yesterday and to see the cast bring the characters to life and do such an amazing job was a real buzz and has given me real confidence in the show.
Were there particular stories and people that interested you when you were doing research for the play? Well not sure if research is the right word. The play is based on my granddad, his brother and his best mate so all of the stories are either from my childhood or second hand stories that have been passed onto me over the years in the pub, during a meal or maybe at a party. Growing up I always found the stories entertaining and funny but never thought anything of it as it was just life. However now I’m an adult with children of my own I realise my upbringing was not that standard and like to use that in my writing. My last play worth a flutter was also very personal as I think as a playwright we have to draw on our own experiences and people and characters we know, it is what draws the audience in and make the play resonate with them. Also the stories range from people befriending a barn owl while on the trot (hiding from the police) to how a many risked his life trying to support his mother in a care home so there is a lot of scope to play with.
For those coming along to see the show what can they expect? First and foremost Time is a comedy, I believe all theatre should entertain and make people laugh, anything else is a bonus. I never try and make any policital or moral stance in my plays I write stories and try to create characters that I think people will enjoy watching. There is of course a darker element to the show which I hope will make people think about these characters which are often displayed as monster in gangster films but in reality are often family men who just have a different way of making a living. Time doesn’t glorify crime but does try and humanise the people who live a life of crime. Overall I think the audience can expect a few laughs, entertaining characters and some quality acting performances…myself excluded it really is an amazing cast.
By Emma Clarendon
Time will play at the Tristan Bates Theatre from the 10th to the 15th February.