Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Richard Bean interview

In The Telegraph, Dominic Cavendish talks to playwright Richard Bean.
His new play, The English Game, concerns an amateur London cricket team and certain ideological fault-lines that open up during one hot Sunday afternoon match. A former part-time stand-up comedian, Bean has threaded - as ever - plenty of jokes into the all-male badinage. It's bound to knock audiences for six. But will it have a further life after Leeds and Salford - the places that pioneering theatre company Headlong is taking it to? Unlikely.

"I've learnt not to raise my hopes," says Bean. "One review of Under the Whaleback [his Royal Court play about Hull trawler-men] said: 'This play will run forever in the West End.' Being naive, I thought, 'Excellent!', but there was nothing, not a phone call.

"These days, I suppose producers think audiences expect a West End play to mean witty lines delivered by Ralph Fiennes - they don't want five tattooed Hull trawler-men dying."

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