Our penultimate Q&A is with the amazing Liz Carruthers, who will be directing Glasgay!‘s production of ALAN BENNETT’S TALKING HEADS. Catch the show at Mitchell Theatre this summer, as part of the Commonwealth Games’ Festival 2014. Tickets on sale now!
What drew you to work on this production?
The plays are wonderful and the cast are fantastic. I loved Jill, Kay and Ross in the first Glasgay! production of these brilliant plays a few years back. I’ve worked with the wonderful Jill Riddiford before and I’m so thrilled that she’s coming back to Scotland to be in the show. I worked with Kay Gallie in 1988 on a production of Whisky Galore and have been trying to work with her again ever since – but she’s always too busy (at least that’s her story…). Ross is a terrific actor as well, and I’m looking forward to working with him for the first time. The rooky in this brand new production is Kirsty McDuff, who is a new young voice in Scottish theatre. They are all going to be delightful!
What is it about Alan Bennett’s monologues and characters that you love?
They are so real and yet so extraordinary. They lead seemingly ordinary lives, but they are looking at what’s happening to them in a completely different way to what we might expect. The characters are often self-deluded, selfish and lonely – but they draw us into their worlds and make us understand them.
How relevant are the issues that Alan Bennett raises to today’s world (i.e. care of the elderly)?
The plays we have chosen introduce us to characters with very modern problems – alcoholism, the loneliness of the elderly, the objectification of women and gay people unable to be open about their lives. All these issues are still current. Bennett gives these people a voice.
What does Alan Bennett tell us about our relationship to other people?
All the characters in the four plays we are doing are flawed and vulnerable. They are very lonely and isolated in very different ways – a woman in a loveless marriage; an elderly woman living alone; a middle-aged gay man co-dependant on his mother and a young aspiring actress unable to accept that the roles she is offered are nothing to do with her acting ability.