Al Smith on adapting Gogol and ‘Harrogate’ at the Royal Court

18th October 2016

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INTERVIEW: AL SMITH After a gap of eight years writing for television, playwright Al Smith talks Matt Trueman through his latest two plays: a radical adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s novella Diary of a Madman, and his slippery two-hander Harrogate, a hit at HighTide that subsequently transferred to the Royal Court as part of a tour. He also talks about the different hats a dramatist might wear, including his collaborative work with the theatre company Kandinsky and the craft that continuing television dramas can instil. This interview contains Harrogate spoilers. Recorded at the Royal Court, 14 October 2016.

“I want to write stuff that people really want to be in…That should be right up at the top of your ambitions: to write the meatiest role you possibly can.”