Interview: David Greig

Written for The Stage

David Greig. Photo: K Ribbe

“I really believe that theatre is encoded into the human DNA.” Playwright David Greig’s has been talking in this vein for about 20 minutes and his enthusiasm is infectious – the kind of voice all theatremakers should want on their side right now. It feels hackneyed to say someone is inspiring but if that tag applies to anyone it’s this passionate playwright who gets carried away with his own sentences and uses more adjectives than an overwrought critic.

A prolific writer, Greig’s career has spanned straight plays (Europe), arty pieces (Whatever Gets You Through The Night), sequels to Shakespeare (Dunsinane), ‘plays with songs’ (Midsummer among others), and pub evenings inspired by Border Ballads (The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart). He is now working with director Sam Mendes on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. To read more go here

Musical Pride and Prejudice

Originally written for The Public Reviews

 Last week I went to see the ENO doing Katya Kabanova at the Coliseum, a meaty piece of classical brilliance.  The next day I went to see Hairspray, a bubble gum piece of theatrical whimsy.   Katya was awe inspiring at points, and infinitely thought provoking, but for sheer balls out joy, nothing could beat Hairspray.

Whilst one is seen as a bastion of high art and the other, a guilty theatrical pleasure, opera and musicals have more in common than one may originally think.  Both art forms (and yes a great musical can be ‘art’) use music to transport the viewer into a heightened emotional state of ecstasy.   Deeply emotive, both do exactly what Aristotle championed, promoting a very healthy sense of catharsis.

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