Young director tackles the taboo

A RISING director from Hemsby is tackling his biggest project to date with an award winning pitch-black comedy in Norwich.

Casting has been confirmed for The Pillowman which tackles some taboo subjects and is the latest offering from the Norwich Theatre Royal Actors Company.

It runs from October 19-23 at Norwich Playhouse, but premiered at the National Theatre in 2003 winning the Olivier Award for Best New Play the following year.

It is directed by Daniel Burgess, from Hemsby, and follows the interrogation of a writer by two police officers who initially quiz him about his political beliefs. As the questioning continues, they probe into the plots of his writing and their similarities to a series of murders.

This leads to the uncovering of some long-buried childhood memories that inspired his work taking the play into some disturbing territory.

Daniel learned his craft on the Norwich Theatre Royal arts course before moving on to take on a wide range of projects, most recently directing the European premiere of In The Blood by Suzan Lori-Parks at London’s Finborough Theatre which has won critical acclaim.

Daniel is now relishing the opportunity to flex his directing muscles on The Pillowman. He said: “It is probably the biggest play the Actors Company has tackled so far because there are lots of sub-plots and storylines going on at once.

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“You just tackle this in the same way you would tackle a less complex play – you have to magnify it and just interrogate it at the same depth you would normally.

“You just have to work a little bit harder within the time constraints you have.

“The nature of the play didn’t put me off at all though, and there was no question about me taking it on. I love it – it is probably my favourite play – and a wonderful piece of writing by Martin McDonagh.”

Heading the cast is former UEA student Jamie Bower, who will be playing the violent detective Ariel. He will be joined in the cast by James Scales, Theatre Royal arts course tutor Asa Cannell and John O’Mahony, who all have a wide range of theatrical and TV credits.

The Pillowman, runs form October 19-23 at 7.30pm at Norwich Playhouse. Tickets �13.50, or �10 concessions. Not suitable for under-16s.

For more info or to book visit or call the box office on 01603 630000.