Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Centre Stage on What's Peen Seen?: Jack Thorne

BAFTA award-winning Jack Thorne is a writer for Film & TV, with series such as Shameless and Skins firmly under his belt. After making a brave switch to the London stage, his latest play Mydidae went down a treat at Soho Theatre. Having now transferred to Trafalgar Studios in London's West End, we've had a little chat with Jack to find out how he's feeling, the truth behind his latest superb project (we raved about it here) and we discover why he loves his job so much. 

(Oh, and psst, we have a competition going here until the 8th March 2013 for you to win a signed poster for this very production.)

Mydidae is set in a bathroom and charts one couple’s relationship – can you tell us a little bit more about the play?

I always find these things so difficult. I either give too much away or make it sound horribly bland. I think we can safely say it's a play about a dark time in their lives, when they're struggling with a lot. It's trying to say stuff about the darker side of love. You see? That makes it sound horribly bland doesn't it?

The new writing company DryWrite provided you with a brief – can you tell us a little bit about the process of creating/developing Mydidae?

They are a company that set provocations for playwrights. That's what they've always done. This is their first full-length commission and they sent me a simple but complicated provocation - write a play set in a bathroom. That's what I tried to do. 

What do you hope audiences will take from Mydidae?

That again I find very difficult to answer. I hope they take something. I'd feel terrible if they took nothing. But what I love about theatre is that you can sit by someone through an entire play and have an entirely different response to it. 

What have you enjoyed most about writing Mydidae?

I've spent the last two years writing mainly for film and TV - where scenes are generally between 1 and a half and 3 pages. To write something where scenes last for twenty pages is an utter joy. 

Mydidae first played at Soho Theatre and is now transferring to Trafalgar Studios – what is it like having your play staged in the West End?

It's lovely for us to get a chance to do the play again so soon!

You write for film and television as well as theatre – how do you adjust to writing across these different media?

It's hard to describe. It doesn't really differ between film, TV and theatre as between the projects. I've been lucky enough to be given opportunities to write a lot of different stuff and I love doing so. 

How important were the series’ Skins and Shameless for getting you recognised as a writer?

Hugely important and I'm hugely grateful to both shows. But more importantly they also taught me how to write. In particular, Bryan Elsley (co-creator of Skins), who helped seemingly an entire generation of writers get their first breaks in TV, was a brilliant and patient teacher. 

Are there common themes and issues which you regard as running through all your writing?

I'm not sure. I like the idea their might be. Another teacher of mine - Simon Stephens - said that all writers have a 'myth' - a notion they return to again and again - we were encouraged to think what that myth might be - I think I decided mine was 'the problems of help'. 

What are you looking to for your next project?

I'm never sure what's coming next. That's one of the many things I love about my job. 

Mydidae runs at Trafalgar Studios 2 from 5 March 2013, until 30 March 2013. 
@JackThorne @TrafStudios 

Follow us on Twitter / Like us on Facebook

No comments: