This was a time where I was starting to expand my reading of plays. Before, show choices seemed to be made on popularity, on familiar names or shows we had seen. It was time for a shake up - I delved into collected works of any playwright that popped up online, in a press review or What's On brochure - each one leading me to another. Terry Johnson, Philip Ridley, Anthony Neilson, Mark Ravenhill, Sarah Kane ... Most of them part of the nineties "in yer face" movement.
It was Ridley and Neilson that excited me the most but it was Joe Penhall who eased us into doing something "a bit more modern".
Looking at the upheaval a charismatic compulsive liar causes to a couple, Love and Understanding is a subtly clever piece, deceptively layered with some great exploration of modern relationships like Patrick Marber's Closer.
The sole regret about our production was that all people seem to remember, years on, is an embarrassingly unnecessary bit of nudity that was put in.
LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING by Joe Penhall
Directed by Brendan Harrington
Neal .............. Ben Chamberlain
Rachael ............... Katy Hutchenson
Richie ............ Neil Knipe