The director spoke to Love London Love Culture about If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You, playing as part of the Vault Festival from 14 to 25 February.
Thank you so much for talking to Love London Love Culture. Could you tell me a little bit more about the show?
It’s a raucous romantic drama set on a roof. There’s a bag of drugs, some beautiful boys, a bit of kissing, and a big drop. It’s set in a small town in the west of Ireland, and John O’Donovan’s evocative script is sharp, vivid, and really really funny. It’s class.
What were your first impressions of If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You?
I was totally swept away by the rhythm and wit of the play – I’d never read such confident, individual voices from an early career writer, and I was totally transported to Ennis, where Mikey and Casey live.
What would you say the main message of the play is?
That there’s a difference between being looked at and being seen, between being listened to and being heard. And that sometimes in order to get something you want (love, in this instance), you have to give up what you thought was important to you.
How did you first come across the play?
Kismet. I met the writer in 2015 at another play I’d directed, we hit it off, and I started pitching one of his earlier plays (Flights, which has since been picked up by Druid in Ireland) to some theatres. In the meantime, John wrote Cocaine as a short play for the Miniaturists, and we put it on there in early 2016 – I talked to Stewart Pringle (then AD) and Clive Judd (then literary manager) of the Old Red Lion, they loved the sound of it, and we took a slot at the Old Red in September of that year.
What can audiences expect from the production (without giving too much away of course!)?
t’s a surprisingly big play! Even though the action is set in a small space, the performances are chewing-your-face-off massive. The themes are also pretty muscular: John tackles some weighty issues around class, identity, and the nature of love. And of course, the jokes are really good.
What would you say makes this play stand out?
I’ve yet to see a recent new play that paints such a vivid, compelling picture of its setting – by the end of it, you feel as if you’ve lived in Ennis your whole life, and like you might have passed Mikey and Casey on the street, or maybe known and love them a bit.
Why should people come along and see the show?
What, I haven’t used enough adjectives already? Sure it’s some craic, as they say over in Ireland.