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| November 14, 2018

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“It Won’t Go Wrong….” An Interview With Tim Coakley, Writer Of The New Fringe Play “What’s Wrong With Monotony”

“It Won’t Go Wrong….” An Interview With Tim Coakley, Writer Of The New Fringe Play “What’s Wrong With Monotony”
Graham Cushway

Tim Coakley is the writer of the play “What’s Wrong With Montony”, which debuts at Rialto Theatre this evening. In the play he essays a couch-bound writer who frustrates his own cast by failing to complete a script regardless of the fact that the performance is that very night.

We caught up with the writer – who has chosen to satirise his own writing, fellow writers, actors and even theatre audiences….

What can the audience expect from “What’s Wrong With Montony”?

From this play the audience should expect the unexpected. It is a very spontaneous play and sort of evolves. It does not follow a set pattern.

Why would people come and see this? 

The concept will appeal to anybody who is interested in theatre because ultimately it is a play about the theatre which gently pokes fun at all things theatrical.

What if it all goes wrong onstage? Spontaneity can be risky …

It won’t go wrong but I would like to think the audience would be sympathetic if it did!

Spontaneity can be risky … Owen Bleach (left) and Emma Howarth in ‘What’s Wrong With Monotony?’ which debuts tonight at Rialto Theatre.

Where did the inspiration for this piece come from?

I have no idea where the idea for this play came from. It descended fully formed from the ether and I was quite taken aback by it actually.

Over the last two or three years I have written a number of plays and in fact “Monotony” is part of a series. The others are – rather predictably – entitled  “What’s wrong with Boredom” and “What’s wrong with Tedium.” They have been written, though who knows whether they will ever see the light of day?  I write to amuse myself. I have no idea whether this sort of thing will attract an audience.

Are you directing the play on this occasion?

I am not directing this myself. I left it in the very capable hands of Margot Jobbins, from Ovingdean, who chose the actors who are all local to the Brighton area.

Has your work ever been performed at The Rialto before?

I had a play on at last year’s Brighton Fringe at the Rialto and I would say it is my favourite local venue. Last year’s play, ‘At The Junction Cafe’ was about non-communication and featured two people in a café both lost in a world of their own and more or less ignoring each other.

‘At The Junction Cafe’ – last year’s Fringe production by Tim Coakley.

What are you most looking forward to from Brighton Fringe this year?

What I am most looking forward to seeing in this year’s Fringe is Medea at B.O.A.T, not least because I myself am in the process of writing an adaptation of another Greek play, ‘Alcestis’, by Euripides.  In my humble opinion the greatest dramatists ever were the Ancient Greeks, for example Aeschylus, who wrote ‘The Oresteia’.

What’s your history within theatre? How long have you been involved in the art?

I have been writing and putting on plays for three or four years now. I got very upset the first time when my carefully chosen words were in my view mangled by the director and actors, but I now accept that a play is a collaboration and just go with the flow.

A lot of local artistes also have a day job. Are you working aside from writing plays?

I was an English teacher for decades and am now retired. I do not have a day job.

Do you think theatre is still relevant?

I feel theatre is still needed  because attending a live performance is more intimate and more personal than merely watching a DVD, and of course it is also a night out.

Returning Brighton Fringe playwright Tim Coakley

Tickets for “What’s Wrong With Monotony?” can be purchased here. Performances are at Rialto Theatre on 4th, 5th and 6th May, starting at 5:15 pm. 


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