Leicester's new state of the art theatre Curve is currently showing macabre horror The Pillowman. Listen to our interview with two of its stars Marc Warren and Russell Dixon.
'The Pillowman' has brought writer Martin McDonagh wide acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, winning both an Olivier and a Tony Award.
Now between 05 February and 07 March 2009 the compelling piece will be performed at Leicester's newest theatre, Curve under the direction of Paul Kerryson.
Listen: Interview with Marc Warren and Russell Dixon
BBC Leicester's Tony Wadsworth spoke to actors Marc Warren and Russell Dixon about the play, Curve and the meaning of celebrity...
Marc Warren leads the company as Katurian, a writer who has been arrested by police in a nameless, totalitarian state.
He is questioned by detective Tupolski (played by Russell Dixon) and officer Ariel (Benedict Wong), who seem very interested in his short stories and the sources of his creative inspiration.
When Katurian's brother Michal (Paul Ready) is thrown into the mix, events become increasingly sinister.
The Pillowman is a seriously intense thriller containing scenes and language that may offend.
Back On Stage
Marc Warren is a recognisable face to many after previous television work that has included Wanted, Mutual Friends, Ballet Shoes and Hustle.
Although many women may consider him a heart-throb he is not interested in being labelled as a 'celebrity':
"When you step on that stage all men are equal and it is level and you fight for your live - the rest of it doesn't mean anything."
The blonde-haired actor has had a break from theatre and it has been a shock to return in such focused play:
"The director Paul Kerryson always tells me not to say this, but I much prefer TV and film.
"I've not been on stage for seven years and this is like a baptism of fire coming back. This is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Without a doubt."
From Haymarket to Curve
It's not the first time Marc has been in Leicester. In the early 1990's he was a regular feature at the now closed Haymarket Theatre.
It was here, around 20 years ago, that he first met and worked with fellow actor Russell Dixon, in the slightly different form of a pantomime:
"I was playing an ugly sister and Marc was prince charming - and here we are in The Pillowman playing exactly the same parts!"
Both Marc and Russell are impressed with Curve's performance space, facilities and potential, but feel that it is still a little 'sterile' due to the newness of the building.
Russell commented, "I think it will gradually relax into itself and it will have it's own character."
A Macabre Tale
The material the play deals with is very heavy and is certainly not there to make the audience feel comfortable, however it is not all about the terrifying.
Russell commented, "It is indeed dark and it is extremely macabre but there's a huge amount of comedy in it.
"And the comedy is that kind of gallows humour, very black humour, that comes out of extreme tension and extreme situations."
"It's a hard watch for the audience. It's tough for the actors, concentration, you just have to keep it right on. But also the audience, you just can't afford to get in there, sit down and say entertain me."
last updated: 19/02/2009 at 17:02
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