THE TIMES: INTERVIEW WITH TOM STOPPARD AND DIRECTOR, NINA RAINE
Posted on 19 December 2023.
Posted in: Interviews with cast and creatives
Britain’s greatest living playwright Tom Stoppard and Director Nina Raine talk to Dominic Maxwell about reviving Rock ’n’ Roll.
How is it having Stoppard in the room with you while you direct his play? Mostly, Raine says, it’s a delight — even if he did veto her suggestion that they change a Bob Dylan song specified in the script to something faster. “So Tom’s been very good about letting me have my head a bit,” she says. “But I have to listen to him as well.”
They laugh. Stoppard insists that if she’d felt really strongly about it he would probably have given in. “I’m actually very compliant.”
Stoppard knows his worth, but is happy to dish out self-deprecation too. He mentions that he has been exchanging texts with Patrick Marber, who directed Leopoldstadt. How, Marber asked, was Rock ’n’ Roll going? “I said: ‘Fine, I think. They’re either quietly appreciative or baffled.’ Patrick texted back saying: ‘NW3 is inner laughter central.’” This is news to Raine, who laughs heartily.
She has instigated a few tweaks to the staging, including a slightly more prominent role for the character based on Pink Floyd’s talismanic first singer Syd Barrett. David Gilmour from Pink Floyd had been in touch to ask for tickets for the opening night at Hampstead Theatre before changing plans. Gilmour has seen and apparently liked the play before though: he was at the Royal Court opening night in 2006, as were Mick Jagger and the former Czech president Vaclav Havel. Stoppard smiles at the memory. “Somebody said: ‘I don’t know about the show, but the audience is amazing.’”
Visit The Times HERE to read their full interview with Tom Stoppard
Rock ‘n’ Roll plays on the Main Stage until 27 January