Toksvig filling up seats
1. How much research went into ‘Bully Boy’?
A huge amount. I spoke with people who know about therapy, those who know about the military etc I read as much as I could and then I put it all away. At the end of the day it is a play not a documentary and it has to have a dramatic heart. The facts, however, are correct and it was important that the audience felt the characters could have been real.
2. What challenges did you face in writing a play in comparison to your fiction and non-fiction?
I like writing for theatre. You don’t have to write all the descriptive bits which you need in a novel. I love dialogue and when the writing is going well it is as if you can hear the characters speaking in your head,
3. How much say do you have in the production?
Not as much as one might think. I had no say in the set design or poster image, for example. I didn’t care for the poster image and said so but it made no difference. No matter how much an author emphasises that they want a bare stage with a table and a chair there will always be a ‘design’ element added by someone.
4. What hopes do you have for the future of ‘Bully Boy’?
I would love the play to go on and be seen elsewhere. Every single night of the London run there was a standing ovation because the acting was wonderful but also, I hope, because the play has something to say.
5. What’s your favourite line?
The last line. It’s a killer.
6. Where do you like to write?
I have a study overlooking the sea. From the window I have uninterrupted views of the very waters where Vikings once rowed across to these shores. Perfect.
7. Who would be your ideal Hamlet?
My son. He is 18 and a wonderful young actor with great heart.
8. What play do you wished you’d written?
I never wish to own anyone else’s work. The play I wish I had written is the next one I shall write.