Alexi Kaye Campbell
Alexi Kaye Campbell
Award-winning playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell brings his explosive debut The Pride back to the West End five years after its initial run. Based at Trafalgar Studios, The Pride tells the tale of a complex love triangle tracked from the late 1950s to today "against a background of changing attitudes towards homophobia." Directed by Jamie Lloyd and starring Hayley Atwell, Harry Hadden-Paton and Mathew Horne, this recent revival comes at a time when people across the UK, be they LGBT or straight-allies, are deeply considering the homophobic actions perpetrated in countries like Russia, Jamaica, Iran, Nigeria amongst others. We caught up with Alexi to find out more about how he feels about The Pride now and his thoughts on LGBT discrimination here and abroad...
The Pride was your first play- how do you feel about it now five years down the line?
I'm thrilled that it is getting a new life in London - so few people saw it the first time round. Also, it seems to be the right time for it to be returning - it feels more topical than ever. I hope it's aged well - I did make a few changes to the script to bring it up to date but nothing too extreme. But overall I suppose I feel something like a very strong affection for this play - it was, after all, my first produced one and it launched my career as a playwright.
What's it like working with director Jamie Lloyd again?
A real joy. Jamie understands the play so much and it's been a real pleasure to return to it together. I think he has done the most extraordinary job bringing it to life.
A good portion of The Pride is set in the '50s. How much research did you have to do on LGBT rights and people from this period?
I did quite a bit of research but mostly read plays from that period - Rattigan, Priestley and others. I wanted to make sure that the dialogue and world were authentic. I also watched a few films, including the seminal Victim with Dirk Bogarde. That was all very helpful. And I read Peter Wildeblood's beautiful and important autobiography Against The Law.
This current revival of The Pride is being hailed as quite timely as it touches on issues that could be applied to Russia's recent LGBT discriminatory laws... what are your thoughts on the situation there?
I feel that just as things are progressing on the LGBT front in certain societies in the West - like Britain with the new marriage laws - things are getting worse in other parts of the world. We still live in a world riddled with terrible homophobia - in Russia, across Africa, the Middle East - and that this means we can never be complacent. There are so many more battles to be fought until gay people are seen and treated as being completely equal and accepted.
What can people do to support LGBT rights here on home turf?
I suppose always take the stand against discrimination and prejudice whenever it comes up in any form.
What's been the biggest moment of professional pride for you so far?
It must have been the opening night of The Pride at the Royal Court in 2008. It was my first opening ever. I remember standing outside the theatre and shedding a few tears. In private, of course.
Who are your favourite (for whatever reason) LGBT characters across film, TV and plays?
I did love Brokeback Mountain, in that it exploded every stereotype in the book and that is always a good thing.
What other issues do you hope to explore in future work?
I'd like to write something about the current situation in Greece because it seems to me to represent a larger crisis of confidence in the West. After all, Greece is where it all began, so what happens there is an indication of what's happening elsewhere. Being half Greek I feel especially drawn to the subject.
Who or what is currently inspiring you?
Music. always. Something stirring, emotional. You have to feel it before you write it.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
"It's the marathon, not the mile. Keep at it."
We've teamed up with Olivier Award-winning West End play THE PRIDE to give you a special ticket offer - £10 off top price seats. To get top price £49.50 seats for £39.50, quote ‘PRIDE39.50’ by calling 0844 871 7632 or follow this link: bit.ly/188odqj
*This offer is only valid until 25/10/13
Photo credit of Alexi Kaye Campbell: Johan Persson
Photo credit The Pride still: Marc Brenner
Alexi Kaye Campbell