Interview: Max Lindsay on directing Philip Ridley's gender neutral, role swapping new play Angry #SouthwarkPlayhouse
Philip Ridley’s new play Angry (Southwark Playhouse) has an interesting structure, can you explain how it is going to work?
Both of the actors [Georgie Henley and Tyrone Huntley] will be performing each night but will take turns as to who performs which monologue dependent on which version you see. So you can come and see Version 1 and get a completely different experience to when you come to see Version 2.
Really excitingly Philip has written all of the monologues so that they are gender neutral which means we have been able to really look at what these mean from a male and a female perspective. They come to life very differently.
How did you approach directing a gender neutral piece?
A lot of it stemmed from research that I did for both a female and male perspective but also from the conversations we had as a company. It was really important for the cast to feed in to that because the only way we are going to find truth in these monologues is filtering it through them.
And, how do rehearsals work when the actors are going to be performing the same monologues - is it a collaborative process?
We started off having a couple of days together to discuss all of the monologues and decide the routes we were going to go down with them. We played around with the characters and the interpretations.
It was so useful for us all to understand the different routes we were going to take so that we could push them apart further or bring them closer together dependent on what we wanted to achieve.
After that I was working with one performer at a time in very intense rehearsals. I work incredibly collaboratively so it was a lot of throwing ideas in to the mix and playing before finding what was right between the two of us.
It was then really down to my eye to ensure that things were playing the way we wanted them to.
Phil’s visceral and urgent writing always grabs my attention. It is both terrifying and hilarious. He gets the way that an audience should never know what is coming next so perfectly.
He is always about 5 steps ahead of the curve which is always astonishing to me.
And finally, why should people come and see Angry?
It is going to be unlike anything else you will see. Two actors up on a stage taking you on multiple journeys that will leave you gagging to come back and see another way the next night.
Angry is at the Southwark Playhouse from February 14 to March 10 and is 90 minutes long.