Llandyll Gove talks Saturday Night Fever
Actor and co-star talks disco and the latest stage remake of 1970s classic
Llandyll Gove, playing Double J – the one in Tony Manero’s gang ‘most likely to join the mafia,’ Gove reflects – promises that this Saturday Night Fever is no sentimental remake. ‘The great thing is that the charcaters are so well written you are always finding new things in them,’ he says. ‘They are real to life. The original movie was an 18, and there was a lot of swearing and racial tensions: there was drugs and sex, which was going on in the disco scene.’
Unlike an earlier musical version, this script stays closer to the film’s gritty realism, even while choreographing the famous soundtrack into a series of showstopping numbers. ‘The disco scene was very underground,’ Gove continues. ‘Although it had all those colours, it was about living for the weekend: living like kings for one night and then back to work for the rest of the week. It’s about the dark issues around the disco scene.’
Unlike a jukebox musical, the songs in Saturday Night Fever already relate to each other and while fans of the music won’t be disappointed, it does move into darker territory. ‘This one has gone back to the film script. If you listen to the lyrics, they are poignant lyrics. They are catchy and people sing along to them, but they have important themes,’ says Gove.
With the main story of Tony Manero’s attempt to escape the misery of low expectations in 1970s America, and a host of social troubles slowly closing in, it has more depth than the popular memory – of white suits and huge collars – might suggest.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tue 16 Dec-Sat 3 Jan.