Preview and interview: This Man to His Wife

Olivia meets Joesph Kerridge – author and director of the next Theatre Group production.

(not representative of Larry and Pam)

This is the tale of Larry and Pam- a struggling young couple against the social and economic truth of our contemporary society. However, to make things worse, struggles worsen when they realise their aspirations do not match the PLUs (people like us). What is expected of oneself in modern British family life?

We spoke to Joseph Kerridge in the Union as he’s on ticket duty about his upcoming production.

The Tab: Can you describe the writing process?

Joe: I had an image of two men sitting at a table. It grew from that, scene by scene. It wasn’t all planned out. I showed it to a guy I’ve written with before. He had quite a lot to say and I was thinking “Oh god” (laughs). But I kept going anyway.

The cast were influential. We asked each other “What do you think that means?” because I don’t know what it means, all I know is what they say. The rest, like the character’s backgrounds, all came out in rehearsal.

The Tab: What was the inspiration for the story line?

Joe: The first line is; “Take a pew”. I think I heard that one on the bus actually! It just goes from there. I didn’t have anything initially.

The Tab: How does the play look in comparison to your initial ideas?

Joe: Pretty good! It’s quite dark – not moody, but the room isn’t very well lit. We’ve gone miles away from when I first started writing: I originally envisaged it as a typical ‘end on’ performance, but we experimented and finally settled on a piece where the audience walks around the stage.

The Tab: Were the characters based on anyone you know?

Joe: I don’t think so. But there’s a bit where one of the characters pulls a chair away from the table. That was from a play I was in where Dan (Whitehouse) did just that. So it went in!

The Tab: Did any of the characters turn out differently from your original intentions?

Joe: Sam (Ripman) brought a nice childishness to Larry, which I didn’t think about before. That happens a lot – I’ll just be like “Yeah that works!”.

The Tab: Are rehearsals on schedule and going well?

Joe: Yeah! We’ve had a few props issues – I’ve been doing some shopping today… But in terms of the actual play, we had it blocked in a week and a half, then it’s just been details. This is my first time being in charge! Although I don’t know if I’m THAT in charge… (laughs).

The Tab: Has it been a gruelling process?

Joe: Yeah, I’ve been in every day! There’s plenty to take away from it. I don’t think people will forget it in a hurry.

Sounds exciting! This Man to His Wife is on from Wednesday until Saturday at 7.30pm this week, with tickets on sale for £6.50/£8.50 in the Union foyer. I’ll be there!