Guy Masterson, director of the Olivier nominated West End hit, The Shark Is Broken directs PICASSO at The Playground Theatre.
A new play, Picasso, by Terry d’Alfonso, Adapted & Directed by Guy Masterson very strongly questions how much can Picasso be respected and loved in our new society of today as the man he was.
PICASSO runs at The Playground Theatre until 4th February.
Picasso is coming to The Playground Theatre, what can you tell us about the show?
Picasso is an adaptation of Terry D’Alfonso’s 6 actor play of the same name for solo performance wherein Peter Tate will play the title role and all the women who came in and out of his life.
What was it about this play that made you want to adapt and direct it?
Picasso is a big character from history and was notorious in the way he “apparently” treated his mistresses, wives and muses… Like any big personality, I love to find out what made these people tick and to get to the core of why people are so fascinated by him.
I have directed bio-plays about Richard Burton, Hitler, Goering, Eric Morecambe among many others. Picasso is certainly an interesting, powerful personality. This play gets to the core of him, using the evidence and testimonials we have from both history and from those who knew him in Terry’s extensive research.
How do you think this adaptation for solo performance offers a deeper insight to the world of Picasso?
When a character talks directly to the audience, you can learn more from his direct testimony rather than just by observing. It is that direct communication where you can observe the non-verbal communication and draw deeper conclusions as to his traits, his character and his motivations. The audience can go away with a much deeper understanding of the man and experience what it might have been like to have had an audience with him.
What do you think will be the most challenging thing about bringing Picasso to the stage?
The most challenging thing about any solo performance is the challenge to the actor – who has to take all the elements of the event on to their shoulders… apart from the obvious – learning the lines (the grunt work) – absorbing and rekindling the essence of Picasso is where the art or the artiste is to be found. The actor cannot just tell us what the words say… they must appear to be living them. That’s when the genre works.
What’s it like working with Peter Tate?
Peter is a tremendously gifted actor with a propensity for great empathy – which is the key to all good acting. He is not interested in “performing” Picasso or “inhabiting” him rather than allowing Picasso to inhabit him… In fact, there is very little acting involved! Peter is able to do that… Working with him is a pleasure.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see Picasso?
Picasso was a fascinating person and a prolific artist, but clearly beset by certain traits which by which he could be described as “flawed genius”… Some people described him as a “monster”, and a “narcissistic misogynist”… There was certainly more to him than met the eye and this play will show you everything… You will come away with an opinion, certainly… but you might also find yourself becoming more forgiving of some of his more contentious traits once you’ve heard him give his “side of the story”!
PICASSO by Terry d’Alfonso, adapted & directed by Guy Masterson, performed by Peter Tate is at The Playground Theatre, until 4 February, 2023