Pete Gallagher, judge of the Kenneth Branagh New Drama Writing Award at the Windsor Fringe
Leighton Eves talks to Waiting for Hamlet's writer David Visick about ghosts, actors and dancing words
PETE GALLAGHER, Director of the House of Gulliver and judge of the 2018 Kenneth Branagh New Drama Writing Award at the Windsor Fringe
"This intrigued me greatly as it is clearly borne of a love for the source material and perhaps an equal love of Stoppard-esque wordsmiths! A cleverly constructed and witty take on quite a well-worn premise – that of the purgatory waiting room – it serves not only to highlight the foolishness of privilege by using the ultimate status pair of the King and the Fool, but also cocks a small side-sneer at the self-importance of actors by highlighting the disappearance of reputation as is so often seen with a decline in popularity in this media-driven age. The quest for immortality is still alive…and just as pointless as ever…unless what you are leaving behind is truly positive and beneficial to mankind.
The cruel exposing of the frailty of the once mighty King alongside the undoubted wisdom of the ever-ridiculed Fool only serves to reinforce what we secretly know; that we can learn so much from the mouths of the innocent as they have no space for neuroses and psychobabble. Having said that, as the Fool’s argument becomes more logical and its structure takes shape as the play progresses, we realise that anything that is built on a basis of wisdom is probably worth exploring, and ultimately knowing when to let go is a valuable virtue. Knowing you are on solid ground in an argument is often enough for the wise and trying to move the unmovable can be a thankless task."