"I'm interested in celebrating people": 5 Minutes with Cinderella playwright Luke Barnes

We spoke to Luke Barnes, the extraordinary writer and director whose work has included Bottleneck, The Saints and No One Will Tell You How To Start a Revolution. He’s made work with the National Theatre, Almeida and the Young Vic and talks to us about his latest play with Not Too Tame, Cinderella at the Vaults.

Cinderella is currently playing at the Vaults Theatre and must end January 12th 2020, so grab your tickets now!
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What inspired you to become a writer?

When I was training as an actor I was lucky enough to have a visiting director at my school called Vicky Jones. Vicky Jones commissioned a group of writers to work with us for our 3rd year plays who included: Phil Porter, James Graham, Penny Skinner, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joel Horwood, Ed Hime and Frazer Flintham. She introduced me to her company DryWrite (who went on to produce MyDiade, Fleabag and The One) and Nabokov who was then run by James Greive and George Perrin.

Watching these companies I could see a type of writing that I could get on board with - accessible, relevant, fun and full of EVENT. I was working on Game Of Thrones when I first wanted to write - I made a play for my friend Ria Zmitrowicz, stole the form of Joel Horwood's Is Everyone OK?, and told my own story - that was Chapel Street. I’ve been writing full time ever since.

What sort of stories do you like to tell?

I'm interested in stories that re-imagine the northern experience and the working class experience. I'm interested in stories of human resilience in defiance of society being terrible. I'm interested in celebrating people. I'm interested in dignity. All those things. That's usually my starting place… but mostly stories that are useful; that help us see clearly or help us move away.

After writing plays such as Bottleneck and No One Will Tell Me How to Start a Revolution – what attracted you to Cinderella?

I grew up on pantos. I’ve always wanted to do them. I want to make work that is for everyone. Work that can attract the biggest possible audience with the biggest questions…. Pantos and Not Too Tame seemed like the best way to achieve that.

What projects have you got coming up?

I’m working on a number of projects next year but the only ones that have been announced at the moment are The Freedom Project at Leeds Playhouse and Young Vic… and There Should Be Unicorns with Middle Child.

Which play currently playing do you wish you'd written?

It’s just closed but Joan of Leeds by Breach. That was boss.

What advice to you have for young writers?

Be yourself. The minute you try and be someone else you've failed.

Why should we come see the show?

It's the most fun you’ll have in the theatre. Honestly. I’m joking it really is a laugh. Come and find out!

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This article was a collaborative effort, written together by the See Tickets Marketing team; Georgia, Sarah, Hayley, Callum and Abi.

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