Fresh from Edinburgh Fringe: The Political History of Smack and Crack draws on writer Ed Edwards' own experience of narcotics dependency to examine how the politics of the 80s trapped people in poverty and addiction.
Here the former circus performer talks about the importance of entertainment in theatre ahead of the play's London run at Soho Theatre.
Why is this an important story to tell?
In the political sense, I think it's a question for the progressive movement of knowing your enemy, of course, the enemy changes its face, but its heart remains the same. This is what they did then, what lengths will they go to now? It's a question too of spreading ideas, keeping the truth alive - it's part of what Fidel Castro called for before he died: a battle of ideas.
How important is humour when exploring serious topics such as drug addiction and what part does it play in the narrative?
I think entertainment is the most important thing, humour is a big part of that, but it doesn't mean you can't make people cry too.
You’ve written novels, for radio and TV as well as the stage but you used to be a circus performer - how does it compare?
It's a lot safer writing plays than juggling fire on a slack rope while talking to an audience - but probably not as much fun. Seriously, it's part of what I was saying before, about entertaining an audience.
If you're doing a circus show in Huyton Liverpool and you don't entertain the audience, the kids'll come and take your gear, so I've kind of grown up thinking that was important.