Interview with Thomas Martin, Director of If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You @ The Vaults

Director: Thomas Martin on If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You by John O’Donovan.

14th February- 25th February

The Vaults

To book tickets – click here

What originally attracted you to work on If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You?

The characters and the place. John O’Donovan has written two charming, complex young men, each of them speaking in strikingly differentiated language – it’s proof of the writing that I could imagine vividly not only what each of them was thinking when I first read it, but also where each of them was from. Mikey and Casey’s Ennis, though you sense it’s not the easiest of places to live, especially for young gay men, still feels so full of life that you want to stay there even after the play is done.


What’s it like re-staging the piece now, at the vault festival? 

We’ve already restaged it for its four week tour of Ireland, where it’s played at Project Arts Centre in Dublin, Glor in Ennis, and the Mick Lally Theatre in Galway. These spaces are dramatically different in size and configuration, so we’ve always had to be quite quick on our feet in terms of staging the show! VAULT is end-on, so audiences will be getting the more widescreen version of this play.


The show has been praised for the chemistry between the two leads, did you do any particular work in rehearsal to help establish that rapport?

Luckily, Josh and Alan get on like a house on fire outside of rehearsals, so we had no trouble developing that connection in the room, but this time round we were lucky enough to work with movement director Sue Mythen. She helped the actors access not only a more realistic physical relationship to the roof, but also a deeper physical relationship with each other, which reads wonderfully on stage. Improvisations on the characters’ historical interactions were also really helpful.


The play deals with a lot of complex and difficult issues: homophobia, domestic abuse, poverty — how do you deal with bringing such weighty issues to the stage?

You take them seriously, and really make use of them. The play doesn’t discuss these things, nor would I say it’s about them, but they are the facts about the characters, and any good actor will use those as fuel for their performance. The difference in experience between two people is always potent – there’s a tiny shift in the play when Casey asks Mikey (who is unemployed, lives on the dole, deals a bit to get by) if he’s ever been kicked out of a flat by his landlord. Casey has, and that shift in status was a great discovery that we only made by taking the difficult circumstances of the characters seriously.


What element of the show are you most excited for audiences to see?

The ending! Wow, the ending! This is a sneaky way of making sure nobody walks out, but it’s also a really good ending.


What’s going to surprise people about this show?

I think people are always surprised by how much they think of the characters afterwards. Loads of audience members have remarked on wanting to know what happens to them next, and I think it’s testament to the writing that Mikey and Casey feel real enough to have that sort of effect.

Any advice for aspiring theatre professionals?

If you don’t need to be doing it, if it’s not the thing that makes you happiest in the world, probably don’t do it.


Aside from ‘If We Got Some More Cocaine…’ what’s a book/production/piece of art/film you think more people should see? 

Simon Longman’s play Gundog has just opened at the Royal Court, and it’s a magnificent bit of work.


If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You by John O’Donovan.

14th February- 25th February

The Vaults

To book tickets – click here


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