Richard Hurst is co-writer and co-director of The Pirate, The Princess and The Platypus which is playing on Polka Theatres main stage from 18 June to 20 August.
This brand-new show written by Daniel Clarkson and Richard Hurst and produced by Polka Theatre is about choosing your destiny, discovering your identity, and finding your friends.
The Pirate, The Princess, and The Platypus is coming to Polka Theatre, what can you tell us about the play?
Well… once upon a time there was a pirate who wanted to be a princess, a princess who wanted to be a pirate, and platypus who really liked being a platypus. This is the story of how those three characters meet and help each other realise their dreams.
What inspired you and Daniel Clarkson to write this play?
A whole load of stuff really. We wanted to write something about princesses and we love pirates, and then we were trying to think of an animal that begins with ‘P’. When we hit upon the platypus we realised what our show was about – deciding what you’re going to be. Or not be.
I think we both look at the world and feel like lots of people are keen to give people labels and expect them to just be that label – be it gender, race, class, sexuality, or anything else. It used to be depressing looking at the girls’ clothes section in a shop and there being a sea of pink. Now it’s depressing looking at the boys’ section and there being a sea of navy. I think we can change that.
What do you enjoy most about writing and creating work for younger audiences?
It’s harder than writing for adults because children don’t bother to hide their boredom. The first rule of theatre is DON’T BE BORING. For children’s theatre it’s FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T BE BORING. I also like the fact that the audience joins in without being asked. The other day a child just yelled out ‘you’re a donkey!’ to the Platypus. You don’t get that in Ibsen.
What are you enjoying most about working with the cast?
Well they’re an absolute delight. They’re funny, they’re kind, they enjoy what they do – what’s not to like?
Why do you think it’s important to get children involved in the theatre at a young age?
I don’t know whether I’d say it was important. I’d say it was fun. It’s fun to get children involved in theatre. They have a good time!
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see The Pirate, The Princess, and The Platypus?
Tickets are available at all prices.