Photos and podcast: Sideways author Rex Pickett and the wine-mad cast

In Audio, Features, Films, Interviews, London theatre, Opinion, Photos, Plays by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Did you know that Sideways was an unpublished novel – rejected, like the efforts of the character Miles in the story, some 66 times – when the film rights were first picked up? In fact, the novel and film, about middle-aged buddies Miles and Jack on a pre-nuptials road trip through California wine country, were eventually released the same year – 2004. The film went on to win numerous awards, including an Oscar, and transform the wine industry (creating a craze for Pinot Noir and a slump for the derided Merlot).

American author Rex Pickett, who has also adapted his original novel for the stage and has been closely involved in this revised version for its European premiere, talked us through the long journey of his semi-autobiographical story’s from page to screen and stage and the trials and tribulations of being a writer in Los Angeles (which he’s long since left, though he still lives in California) at last night’s post-show Q&A, which was nearly as riotous as the no-holds-barred comedy performance that preceded it.

We were also joined by the entire cast – led by Daniel Weyman and Simon Harrison as Miles and Jack (played by Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church in Alexander Payne’s film) and Ellie Piercy and Beth Cordingly as Maya and Terra, their wine country conquests – for the Q&A.

What are the ingredients of convincing looking stage wine? How do you cope with a full bladder onstage? When’s the date for “Shitfaced Sideways” (when they perform with REAL wine)? What’s it like having the writer (and, effectively, the character) in the rehearsal room? How much fun was “researching” being a wine connoisseur? How do the strong female characters subvert the misogyny in the play? How do the cast deal with a very vocal audience (as we had last night – ladies shouting at the women onstage to hit the libidinous Jack harder!)? Do Miles and Jack’s lives improve in Rex’s second and third novels in the trilogy?

Have a listen to the full, unedited podcast for answers, and many more questions and scroll through the live-tweets are care of @SidewaysOnStage. Photos from last night’s event are care of Peter Jones, production photography is by Pamela Raith.

Sideways continues at London’s St James Theatre until 9 July 2016.

Podcast

Q&A photos
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Show photos
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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, 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 is renowned for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and 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 the Terri Paddock Group, 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 is renowned for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and 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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