Late Company Q&A podcast: How do we deal with grief, loss & prejudice?

In Audio, Features, Interviews, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Sticky, Ticket recommendations by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Having heard so many of My Theatre Mates raving about Late Company following its European premiere earlier this year at the Finborough, I was really looking forward to seeing it at Trafalgar Studios. And yet, I still came under-prepared: I didn’t bring enough tissues. It’s not giving away too many spoilers to say that, if you’re anything like me – and many many others in the audience last night – you’ll spend a good portion of the 75 minutes’ running time in tears.

In a Canadian suburb, a politician and his wife, Michael and Deborah Shaun-Hastings (Todd Boyce and Lucy Robinson), are still reeling a year after their teenage son Joel has committed suicide after being cyber-bullied for being gay. In an attempt to “move on”, they invite his chief tormentor, Curtis (David Leopold), and his parents Bill and Tamara (Alex Lowe and Lisa Stevenson), to a dinner party. But far from finding the peace they seek, the dinner strips bare their good intentions to reveal layers of parental, sexual, and political hypocrisy.

Late Company is the debut play from award-winning Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill, who wrote it when he was just 23 after one of his own school friends committed suicide in similar circumstances. The real-life tragedy sparked a national conversation about bullying and homophobia in Canada.

Last night, after the play’s devastating but, potentially hopeful, ending, we all wiped away our tears for a frank and revealing post-show discussion with the cast, as well as director Michael Yale (with interjections from Stage Traffic producer Eilene Davidson). Why has the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) got involved with the play? Why did the director choose not to relocate the play to the UK? How have the actors visualised the absent but ever-present Joel and their characters’ relationships with him? Have their views on parenting changed during the production? Did they explore the sexuality of the bully Curtis? Are all bullies victims as well? And, on a lighter note, how do they deal with food challenges during the dinner party?

Listen to the full unedited podcast below for answers and many more questions (spoiler alert: the discussion does reveal plot points!). See TerriPaddock.com for video, Q&A photos and live-tweeting…

Late Company continues at Trafalgar Studios 2 until 16 September 2017.

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.
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Terri Paddock on FacebookTerri Paddock on InstagramTerri Paddock on LinkedinTerri Paddock on TwitterTerri Paddock on Youtube
Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.