Ben Tagoe lets us know The Thing About Psychopaths
The playwright's latest is an intense play set between prison and the corporate world
Intense, is how Ben Tagoe’s latest play for Red Ladder has been described. It’s not a warm or fluffy piece of theatre, not that the Perth-born playwright is being demeaning about such work he wants you to understand. But, as you might expect for a play that starts out in a corporate environment and finishes up in prison, The Thing About Psychopaths is hard-hitting and brutal in places.
‘I was listening to an interview with the chief exec of a big company and he was just giving all this absolute waffle about how much they care about their customers,’ says Tagoe. ‘You could just tell that, actually, his job is to not care about his customers, his job is to make money for his shareholders.’
Tagoe, who says he has always wanted to write a prison play having spent a short time on remand many years ago, recognised the falseness and lack of sincerity of the corporate world.
‘I found it fascinating that to survive in that world you have to suspend your empathy,’ he says. ‘You can’t care too much about people, you care more about money. I just felt that the parallels were there with a prison where it is every man for himself.’
Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, Wed 24 Apr; Dundee Rep Thu 25–Fri 26 Apr; Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, Tue 30 Apr.