Carl Grose speaks out

We let the norfox cast of Gargantua loose on playwright Carl Grose to ask him all about the play they are currently rehearsing for. Here’s what he had to say…

Which writers/artists currently inspire you?
As you can probably tell from the play, I love films. I love an American writer/director called Paul Thomas Anderson (who made the brilliant film called Magnolia ). I love the very weird David Lynch. I’m a fan of the Coen Brothers, Tim Burton and Martin McDonagh too. But I’m always on the look out for new inspirations. I think it’s important to watch and read as much as you can as a writer. You have to keep learning, and surprising yourself.

As well as a writer, you’re also an actor. Does this skill-set feed into your writing and if so how?
Being an actor definitely helps, because you learn what works and what doesn’t when you’re performing something over and over again. It helps you understand how theatre works too, and this is essential when you write a play because you’re not only creating characters and writing dialogue, you’re creating the set, thinking about costume, lights, how a director might stage this, etc. Actors love doing my plays because they say the characters are such fun to perform. I guess this is because I always imagine myself playing them when I write them.

What is most helpful to you as you sit down to write a first draft?
Knowing just the right amount of information about the story and characters – not too much and not too little.

Do different factors come into play when writing specifically for young people?
Well, on one hand, no. With Gargantua , I really just tried to write the best play I could. I always try and think about what I’d like to see on the stage (and I had never seen a giant baby on stage before), so I wrote that. But on the other hand, I also knew that it would be performed by young people, so I knew I wanted to make it fun, but also a challenge theatrically.

What type of baby were you? (According to family and friends, unless you can remember…)
Apparently I had very curly hair and used to smear my food into my face. That’s the type of baby I was.

In Gargantua , one character refers to having only 29 minutes left to live. If you only had 29 minutes left to live, what would you do?
I’d like to spend it with my girlfriend. Probably by the sea. (soppy, I know).

If the play was turned into a film, who would you like to play the part of the giant baby?
Besides me? Jack Black might be good.

Gargantua runs at Capitol Theatre from Fri 10 Aug – Sat 11 Aug 2012. Tickets can be booked here.