Classic play Staircase comes to Tron Theatre
- Lauren Mayberry
- 11 February 2011
Pared down adaptation of Charles Dyer’s 1960s drama
Some say the classics never go out of fashion – and the Tron will be hoping that this rings true when their pared down adaptation of Charles Dyer’s 1960s drama, Staircase, opens at the end of February. Last staged in London 45 years ago, the play follows long-term couple Charles and Harry over the course of one evening as they deal with news of an impending court case, threatening their future together.
‘It’s a brilliant play, very cleverly written,’ artistic director Andy Arnold explains. ‘It hadn’t been performed for an incredibly long time and I’m really glad we unearthed it.’
Set in London’s East End, Staircase concentrates on the loneliness and despair of social isolation, common themes in the playwright’s work, while still laden with taut, acerbic dialogue.
‘Dyer’s work has a similar feel to that of Harold Pinter: it’s very funny but dark and tense, and there is quite a sad twist at the end,’ Arnold says. The director performs in this latest adaptation of Staircase, alongside television and stage actor, Benny Young. A new production by Tron Stripped, Arnold was keen to work on the two-man play due to its important place in gay history.
‘It’s a piece of its time. It’s easy to forget now, but in the 1960s two men living together was quite shocking. Things were very different for gay men.’
Arnold, who was appointed Artistic Director at the Tron Theatre in 2008 following a long stint at the Arches Theatre, was born and raised in London. Having relocated to Glasgow some time ago, the territory of the play and its potential Weedgie audience are all the more familiar to him.
‘I think people will always turn out for good plays, especially in Glasgow. There’s a real appreciation here.’ Let’s hope the theatre-going droves don’t let him down.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 23 Feb–Sat 5 Mar