Simon Gleisner introduces his next show, a frenetic farce set in a dystopian near-future by perennial favourite Alan Ayckbourn
So many Ayckbourn’s to choose from – what made you pick this one (apart from the fact that SLT hasn’t done it within the last decade?!)
Doors. I have a thing about doors. You can’t have too many doors in a show. Actors hate me for it. No, not really. I chose it because it’s a great comedy (although the doors are actually quite important!). But it’s a thriller too, which adds a whole extra dimension. I’m really hoping that the audience will be gripped and occasionally shocked, as well as amused, and if all goes well, moved a little too.
The plot sounds bonkers – can you elaborate without giving too much away?
Not really! Just to say that it’s a time-travelling comedy-thriller and the play jumps around in time as our leads try to escape a grisly end. You’ll need to come along and see it to find out what happens!
What’s the biggest challenge for you with this show?
It’s quite a technical show, with a pretty serious set. Bringing it to life, and giving my fabulous cast the right platform to perform on, has been hugely challenging. The team has been all over London looking for bidets and baths, sofas and fetish gear, and all the other special bits and pieces we need. Then we’ve made as much as we can of our new lighting capabilities to bring the right mood and give the cast just the right atmosphere to perform in. But all that hard work is going to pay dividends.
Tell us about the characters and cast
I’m incredibly lucky to have such a fantastically strong cast – mostly well established SLTers, but with one excellent newcomer. And they’ve all completely thrown themselves into it. But who wouldn’t jump at the chance to play some really fun characters? We’ve got some really bad baddies, a classic house detective, a woman scorned, a dominatrix and a woman who knows how to handle an umbrella.
What do you hope the audience will take away?
Obviously I hope the audience will have a good time – it is a comedy, after all. But it’s also a really lovely story that should touch people’s hearts.
Communicating Doors runs from 5 – 9 March at the Old Fire Station, and tickets are on sale here.