Williams' latest play takes him back to the past, to 1950s London, when race riots broke out between white teddy boys and the growing population of Caribbeans. It's an adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel Absolute Beginners, one of the most vibrant depictions of teen life ever written. Williams first came across the story in the derided 1986 movie starring Patsy Kensit and David Bowie; though he admired its style ("the way they filmed Soho, it's obvious they spent shitloads of money on it"), he soon discovered it wasn't a patch on the original book. Set in 1958 and narrated by an 18-year-old photographer who is already feeling disillusioned by teen culture, MacInnes' story captures London in all its seedy glory, not to mention the tensions between teens and adults, old and new Britain, blacks and whites, that still exist today.Absolute Beginners opens at the Lyric Hammersmith, London, on 26 April.
Friday, April 20, 2007
In The Guardian, Maddy Costa speaks to playwright (and Guild member) Roy Williams.