What are your names? Where are you from?

Grieve: James Grieve.

Graham: James Graham. We’re from London, England.

What’s the project you’re working on while at SPACE?

Grieve: I am the artistic director of a new writing touring company called Paines Plough, based in London. We produce new plays and tour them all over the UK. James Graham is under commission to Paines Plough and the theatre world in Plymouth to write a play that we will produce initially in Plymouth and then on tour in 2014 for our fortieth anniversary. So we are here working on that commission.

Graham: I’m writing the play and it’s been quite research intensive until now. It’s a political history set in London in the 1970s. It’s about a set of young anarchists who in real life were mild terrorists who set off lots of bombs and attacked institutions, television companies, government bodies and police and places like that. Up until this point it’s been a lot of research so this week has been great because I’ve been able to take myself away from everything else and just enjoy the creative side of actually doing the playwriting.

How have you been spending your time at SPACE?

Graham: Together we’ve been talking a lot about the ideas and the themes of the play, then the structure and the character. And because James is going to direct it how we’re going to realize it on stage. It’s been brilliant here because there are so many pockets of spaces that you can go and work. So I’ve been doing a lot of writing on my own.

Grieve: For me it’s been an amazing opportunity to get out of the busy running of the company side of my job and spend more time on the bit of my job that is creative and artistic. I spent my entire week sitting on this very porch reading, thinking about plays, thinking about actors. It’s been great. 

What’s coming up next for you after this?

Grieve: I go straight back to do some research on a new musical that I am making with Kate Tempest, who’s a performance poet and rapper. That opens in September in Birmingham then it goes on tour.

Graham: I have a feature film that we’re about to start shooting in the UK. So I’m going to go back and be on set and be pointlessly in the way next week. Then some TV work and I’ve got a few other theatre commissions to start in the Autumn. But for now it’s still all focused on this.

If you were to be reincarnated as a farm animal what farm animal would you be?

Graham: I saw my first water snake this week being up here at the farm so I’ll have to go with that.

Grieve: I’d have to say a bullfrog. They make lots of big, great noises.


Interviewed by Lorenzo Roberts