Theatre Chipping Norton to produce David Hare’s Skylight

Published: 5 September 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

John Terry, who is directing David Hare’s Skylight for The Theatre Chipping Norton, believes that the play is relevant today but in a very different way to when it premièred in 1995.

He said, “I think the thing that resonates from Skylight in 2019 is not so much a debate about whether business is good or bad but the very idea that here are two people who love each other, who are attracted to each other and yet think so fundamentally differently about the world.”

He draws comparisons with the fall-out of the Brexit vote and attitudes to climate change. “We live in a time when people can’t understand how their partner, parent, sibling or friend can see the world so differently. We don’t understand why people we think we know act—or vote—in the way that they do.”

Skylight features teacher Kyra receiving an unexpected visit from her former lover Tom, a charismatic, self-made restaurant tycoon. As supper bubbles on the stove and a cheap electric heater tries to dispel the cold of a London winter’s night, flickers of their former passion rekindle. A clash of personalities drives the drama and much of the humour in the play.

Terry added, “they keep falling for each other, being repelled, being delighted, being shocked. It’s incredibly entertaining to watch and be a witness to this deeply truthful and brilliantly written dramatic tension.”

Terry has been artistic director of The Theatre Chipping Norton since 2008, reinventing the venue as a producing house for small and mid-scale work.

The cast of Skylight comprises Louis Dempsey as Tom, Rosie Wyatt as Kyra and Roly Botha as Edward.

In 2018, Dempsey played Finbar in The Weir by Conor McPherson for English Touring Theatre. Wyatt won the 2014 Stage award for acting excellence for her role as Amy in Spine by Clara Brennan at Soho Theatre. Botha took the role of Shane in Tommy Murphy’s Strangers in Between at the King's Head Theatre in 2016.

Designer is Liz Cooke and Rory Beaton is lighting designer.

Skylight runs at The Theatre Chipping Norton from Wednesday 11 until Saturday 21 September. It then tours to Salisbury Playhouse from 24 until 28 September, Winchester Theatre Royal on 10 and 11 October and Portsmouth New Theatre Royal from 15 until 19 October.