How did I get involved with the Barbican Theatre? I was recommended to Mark Laville and we met to talk. From that meeting I wrote a play called ‘Blighty’ – about a right-wing racist youth who falls in love with a Sikh girl. Part of the research for it involved me driving around Birmingham with a guy called Chas. We drove to a Gurdwara Temple where asylum seekers come and tell their stories.
For me it was very powerful to work directly with the source material. What I was writing was linked directly into the culture. There aren’t many theatres around where that would happen.
I spent ten years working with The Globe Theatre and they are all about form. The Barbican is more integrated. It’s about content and form together. It’s extraordinary what they do in the community. There always seems to be this energy coming from somewhere.