Theatre in 5 questions: Mark Down & Ben Keaton, co-writers/directors, The Sex Lives of Puppets, Southwark Playhouse
What inspired theatre co-writers/directors Mark Down and Ben Keaton to create The Sex Lives of Puppets? I sat down with Mark and Ben ahead of the opening night at the Southwark Playhouse to find out more about Blind Summit's latest production and their theatre work.
Here's what they had to say (edited), and you can watch the full interview on YouTube by clicking here.
1. What inspired you to write The Sex Lives of Puppets? And why puppets?
Mark Down: We were messing around, and we loved them (the puppets) doing interview-style sort of backstage interviews, and they were very good when they talked about sex.
Ben Keaton: You had a great title for a start.
Mark: I think it was a good title. And once we had it, it was sort of irresistible.
Ben: Mark brought me in, and I've said it many times, we just have to create a show around a great title.
2. You are co-writers and co-directors. How does the collaboration work?
Mark: It's a f*cking nightmare.
Ben: I've made sure it's difficult. It's been my job to do this.
Mark: It came about because Ben auditioned, and he said, 'I know nothing about puppets'. And I was blown away by his voice.
I looked at who'd auditioned and said to my co-director, I want Ben, and if he really can't do puppets, I will do something else. And so that's how we got together, and then the arguments started.
Ben: Mark has an immense experience. He's incredibly passionate about what he does; he has a thing in his mind that he wants. And I come from a different world.
So the combination of our two skills come together in this, but not without bumping heads, that's for darn sure. What I love is we have one agenda, which is to make a great show, and everything clears its way for that.