What inspired you to create Nostalgia?
It was prompted by the death of my Mum aged 98 in 2017. Dad had already passed away in 2014 aged 96 and with me being an only child Mum’s demise in effect brought to a close my family association with Wakefield and unlocked a flood of nostalgic memories about my childhood and early years in West Yorkshire up to the point that I left Wakefield to explore new worlds in 1968. It also prompted to me to reflect on my later life..
Why were you drawn to create a revue to tell this story and what does it add that a ‘straight’ play might not?
I have always written poems. Lyrical summaries of where I was and what I thought at the time. A revue offered me the opportunity to draw on these and expand them to include imagined conversations spliced with comedy and punctuated with “memorable” music. A revue with theatrical vignettes and music provides a lyrical rhythm that a traditional play does not. The format is more flexible and can span the passage of time more easily.
Where did the story at the heart of Nostalgia come from?
The story is autobiographical – most of the references are factual but as always with nostalgic memories there is a mixture of fact and fantasy. That is why remembering what happened is often a lot more fun than the truth of what it really was like back then….. We all of us write our own history to some extent. This revue spans my life from 1949 to the present.
You wrote and are directing as well as appearing in the revue is that a challenging double act to pull off?
Yes, it is challenging. However this is such a personal story that I felt that I was the one best able to guide the actors in understanding the background, motivation and emotion of the characters that they are playing. To provide some essential links in the story I created the role of the independent narrator – a sort “Dave Allen” style raconteur. This revue is short in duration (60 min ) but high on emotion and impact.
What can audiences expect from Nostalgia?
I hope they will be engrossed by the story, enjoy the comedy and the music and walk away with fond memories of their own. Too often nostalgia is dismissed as a negative sentiment – a wallowing in the past – when in fact it’s the positive glue that binds our memories and helps us face up to an uncertain future.
What’s next for Nomadic Theatrical Productions?
I launched Nomadic in 2014 with the aim of encouraging new writing and new acting and technical talent. We did a successful adaptation of “Tartuffe” at the Courtyard Theatre in 2014. We have showcased a couple of new plays since and later this year and next we are hoping to stage a full-length new political comedy “Political Agent” and a modern day take on the themes in “Waiting for Godot” called “Twinkle ,Twinkle Little Star”.