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The Tin Drum // Interview

Mike: We're the team that a few years ago did Dead Dog in a Suitcase. So, Carl is the Writer, Charles is the Musical Composer and the Musical Director in the room and I am the man trying to put it all together. I think they're known as the Director.

Carl: The Tin Drum is about the rise of fascism, it's set in the Second World War. It sounds sort of like a very historical novel but it centres around an extraordinary character called Oskar Matzerath who narrates the novel and he is born believing he has all the answers to life and he narrates the novel and he decides on his third Birthday that he's going to leave the adult world and he throws himself down a flight of stairs and he stops growing. And he is given a tin drum and the tin drum is an image of protest and he rallies against the world and that's kind of it in a nutshell. It's a very complicated novel but we have taken that as a source material to create a very theatrical, operatic show.

Charles: I think something that's really interesting about it is that a lot of people know The Tin Drum because there was a really sensational film of it in the 70s... quite surreal with some moments of absolute genius, doesn't it? But one of the problems that the film has  is that it's too literal with everything. You know, when you read the book and you read of Oskar drumming his tin drum, you hear symphonies, you hear choirs, you hear angels, you hear devils... there's a whole world of intoxicating magic that his drum can set off or cause to happen.

We've had the delirious pleasure of, I think, of freeing our imaginations through what the book has given us to create a piece which is daft, absurd, moving, full of heart, dangerous, radical and sparkling.

Mike: We did want to create our own world as well so we haven't set it in the Second World War and we've replaced fascism with the Order and the General. It's what's happening in the world today, depressingly. I think as well, OK it reflects what's happening in the world today but I feel more strongly than ever, as I read the daily news, that in terms of what is the purpose of theatre... of course it's to provoke, it's to challenge, it's to entertain but I think at the moment I personally want it to have hope. I want it to have real hope. 
I want people to metaphorically and literally keep banging that drum.

I mean, I'm going to sound flippant now but at a base level I can guarantee you won't be bored.

The Tin Drum is at the Everyman, Thu 28 Sep to Sat 14 Oct 2017

Posted in PRODUCTIONS