[wibble] Short piece written by John in yesterday’s [19 Sep 2009] Times. Can’t find online so here is the text:
“We’re four or five weeks into rehearsals for Speaking in Tongues and my mind aches. It’s such an intense story.
I have seen Lantana, the film that it got turned into. I’m not worried about being influenced, I know I’m not going to copy anybody. I mean Anthony LaPaglia, who played my part in the film, he’s twice my size! I actually stopped the DVD halfway through. I thought, yeah, I’ve got the idea, it’s a totally different way of telling the story. Similar characters. Same names. But this is very theatrical.
When I read the first two scenes [in which two adulterous couples perform separately, synchronised with each other] it gave me a headache. We’ve had to learn it like a song, there’s a rhythm to it. It’s such a challenge – and that’s sort of what I look for when I do something new.
A couple of years ago I did a play called Elling. It was pretty successful but I could be in my comfort zone with it; I could hide behind this strong character. This needs to be different. I’m playing two characters. The chronology of it goes back and forth. And it’s very much an ensemble, which is what I wanted. And it’s about relationships and infidelity.
I’m playing another detective, but first we know him as an adulterer. My character thinks he’s got away with it but hasn’t. He spends the rest of the play trying to make up for it.
It’s not a play that goes out of its way to be nice. It’s not an obvious commercial proposition – I like that. I wanted to do something very different. I read it and thought this was going to be impossible! It’s a mindbender.
Maybe an audience will get frustrated by it – we certainly have been at points in the rehearsals. But it’s so rewarding when you join it all together.
So all I’ve been doing is thinking about this play. Oh, and about the Beatles remasters! I’m a Beatles nut. Ian [Hart, co-star, who played John Lennon in Backbeat] is too. We’ve been spending every spare moment talking about them. I went out on the day they came out and bought the box, then stayed up listening to them. On a play like this, you need a release.”