The Original Theatre Company (Birdsong, Three Men in a Boat) present a new laugh-out-loud Kitchen sink comedy – INVINCIBLE – from the self-described ‘darker, younger brother of Alan Ayckbourn’, Torben Betts. Performing at the HARROGATE THEATRE on 15th – 18th MARCH. Excelle speaks exclusively to Director Stephen Darcy.
For people haven’t seen Invincible before, can you give them a bit more information about the plot?
It’s about two broke southern Englanders who move ‘up north’ to enjoy cheaper rent and to experience a better life among ‘real people’. However the real people of the north are perhaps more than they bargained for. This is a really funny but tremendously serious play.
You have recently taken over from Christopher Harper as the director for this production, have you been able to put your own twist on it?
I think whenever I approach a new project I try and bring an original vision and new energy, whilst always striving to remain true to the source material. In the case of Invincible, a huge amount of excellent work had been done by Chris and the cast, so my job was made a great deal easier. I have tried to streamline the design a little bit and to delve into the more serious themes of the play. I think that this allows the comedy and pathos to come through more clearly for the audience.
What can audience expect that’s different to the first tour of Invincible?
Well it is the same play but with a few changes. There is a cast of four and one of our actors is new – Elizabeth Boag who plays Dawn. Inevitably all of Dawn’s scenes are new and I hope in a good way. Chris and I talked a lot about ensuring we maintained what was best, and worked on what needed to be worked on for the improvement of the production, the company and the audience experience. This is a more slimmed down production and I hope a little more gut-wrenching and punchy.
How can the audience relate to the play?
The best way to relate to the play is to come and see it! This play is a joy – it is an incredibly funny examination of some serious questions like: what is the cultural difference in the UK between the north and south? How do people cope with loss? How do ordinary English families exist in a world where economic cuts and hardship are squeezing the life out of all of us? Is there a moral superiority in the north or south – in the middle class or someone else’s class?
How long is Invincible on tour for?
Invincible is touring until mid April. After Huddersfield we travel to Scarborough – for our first gig in the round – then Cambridge, Southend, Harrogate, Lichfield, Brighton and Newcastle-Under-Lyme. And who knows maybe New York thereafter?
Would you make a follow up to Invincible?
Yes! Original Theatre has commissioned Torben Betts to write a new comedy, which will be touring next year. But it’s up to Torben whether or not we ever bring these four wonderful characters together again.
To buy your tickets for Invincible at Harrogate Theatre, please click here