Tag Archives: Paines Plough

Interview: Mark Ravenhill

*Originally written for A Younger Theatre*

“They can be quite unnerving,” Mark Ravenhill says of the Secret Theatre company, suggesting that their 12 months of working together has given way to a kind of openness he hasn’t come across in many rehearsal rooms. He elaborates further: “On the whole, everyone in British theatre is on these short contracts so everyone makes this big effort. And although you might think it’d be nice to be rid of that, it’s actually a little bit disarming for the first few days because they’re quite neutral. They’re very calm and centred. It takes a while to adjust to that.”

Ravenhill is a late addition to the Secret Theatre ensemble. He joined the company after Lyndsey Turner (who directed his adaptation of Candide at the RSC last year) suggested he write to Sean Holmes asking to be involved – “You don’t know if you don’t ask”. Continue reading Interview: Mark Ravenhill

“Sea Wall” by Simon Stephens

at The Shed, Friday 26th July 2013

*Originally written for Exeunt*

What’s so extraordinary about Simon Stephens’ Sea Wall is not its contemplation of a deity or its visceral creation of images using only words, nor even Andrew Scott’s truly engaging performance as he conversationally winds his way through anecdote and allegory but the quite gut-punching way in which a narrative slowly and informally builds to a particular moment before knocking you backwards. To see such an intimate and simple show on a National Theatre stage (this production, in association with Paines Plough, is presented in the temporary Shed space) is an achievement in itself; the fact the piece itself is also a complete triumph should be shouted from the theatre’s red-panelled rooftop.

The monologue, which premièred in 2008 at the Bush Theatre and has been revived countless times the world over, discusses the relationship between the speaker (Alex) and his father-in-law on a trip to France with his wife and daughter. Continue reading “Sea Wall” by Simon Stephens