by David Hare and Steven Knight | Radio Times | April 27, 2021
David Hare Section:
One Saturday night in 1995 I sat down to watch a Screen Two film on BBC2. Streetlife, written and directed by Karl Francis, was about a single mother in a caravan in Wales, struggling to provide for her young child.
Although the material was bleak – Jo kills her child because she despairs of her future – it was played with the most extraordinary humour and vitality by a young actor I’d never seen before. She wore a tiny mini skirt, sparked with brave life, and gave one of the most moving performances I’d ever seen on TV.
Dawn’s problem with Peter is that she doesn’t recognise him, and because she doesn’t recognise him, she doesn’t realise how dangerous he is.
What attracted you to the role?
I knew David Hare’s work very well. When I came out of drama school and first worked at The National Theatre I saw Racing Demon and Murmuring Judges, he was doing a triple bill there at the time. I’ve seen his work but I’d never seen him write about right-wing politics and I think that has brought another edge to his work, which is so blunt, brutal, funny and scathing. It has a sharpness that I really enjoyed when I read it. All the characters are pretty venal, but they’re quick and they’re bright and they’re ambitious. They’re also honest and I think that that is a very interesting story to watch.