Tom Littler is the Director of both Creditors, and Miss Julie. He was last at TBTL in the 2018 Summer Season with his production of Alan Bennett's Single Spies.
Tom, how does it feel to be bringing Miss Julie back to TBTL after the amazing success it has had since 2017?
It's a bit daunting - can we recapture the magic? But very exciting too. Miss Julie was a delight to work on. Although the resulting production is dark and intense, the process to get there is often surprisingly full of laughter and fun. We have a slightly altered cast and design which will make it feel fresh and different.
We're really excited to have the world premiere of another Strindberg adaptation, Creditors, directed by you. What can you tell our audiences about the production?
Well, Strindberg wrote both plays in the summer of 1888 whilst staying in a dilapidated castle in Denmark. Theyexplore similar themes - Creditors is a comedy about male jealousy and how easily it can be provoked. It's set in a seaside hotel where a young husband's faith in his older, more experienced wife suddenly falls apart. The two plays share a cast of four actors - James Sheldon and Dorothea Myer-Bennett appear in both plays.
What is the most exciting thing for you about opening this new production of Creditors at TBTL?
I just love this theatre - I think it's incredibly romantic, and I really enjoy meeting the audiences and the Friends. They're up for anything and they know their drama. There's a great backstage crew here, a friendly team in the office - I always feel supported. After TBTL, the productions go on a short rural tour, and then down to my little theatre in the West End. Also, I can bring my dog and he has a holiday in the Lakes!
Can you tell us a little bit more about your collaboration with playwright Howard Brenton on the new production of Creditors?
Sure - Howard and I first did a Strindberg play in 2013, and Creditors will be our fourth Strindberg-related project together. I've also revived one of his older plays.
We have a great working relationship; we make each other laugh and he's simply one of the best writers in the UK. When he has a first draft ready, we sit with plenty of coffee and biscuits and read all the parts together, editing as we go. It's started to feel like we should set a third place for Strindberg!
Creditors runs at Theatre by the Lake from 22 March to 20 April, with Miss Julie running from 1 to 4 April, followed by a rural tour. Find out about the shows here.