Peter Gill, playwright and theatre director
Kick for Touch
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Kick for Touch


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Kick for Touch

by Peter Gill

Peter Gill Festival, Sheffield

Crucible Studio, Sheffield, 23 May 2002

First performed: Cottesloe Theatre, 15 February 1983

Kick for Touch tells, in jumbled fragments, the story of a love triangle between two brothers, Joe and Jim, and Joe's wife Eileen. A difficult childhood has left the brothers loving, jealous and incredibly close, so close that — ultimately — they crush Eileen between them.

Thoughts from the Director:

Have you worked with Peter Gill before?

I signed up to work on the Festival about nine months ago. Peter then asked me to work as his assistant director on a production of John Osborne's play Luther at the Royal National Theatre and on The York Realist, which he himself had written.

What main challenges does the play present?

Although the story of Kick for Touch is relatively simple, Peter chooses to tell it in a highly complex way. Set in the 1970s, the play jumps in and out of key events during that decade in the lives of three people: two brothers Joe and Jim, and Joe's wife Eileen. What emerges from the play is a tragic love triangle but its causes and ramifications are not fully understood until the final words of the play. Even then, they remain deliberately obscure. The story is fragmented but you don't get given all the fragments. It's like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing. The actors must be able to accord each moment total integrity, while also being able to move swiftly and seamlessly to a totally different place in the story, often in a matter of words. For example, an actor might have to move from the middle of a marital argument to the beginning of a love affair and back again in the space of twelve lines.

Does Peter write with a particular design in mind?

Yes, I think he does. Peter did not intend that there be anything much more than the table and four chairs on the stage. What I've found particularly strange in working on the design for this play with Jessica is that as well as having a sense of how Peter intended the play to look in performance, I have a sense of how he intended it to look in rehearsal. I know from assisting Peter that he spends a great deal of time sitting around a table, talking around the play and working on the text. I suspect this is the bit he most enjoys. Kick for Touch must be Peter's ideal play to rehearse: it's all set around a table and there are three actors and four chairs. I have a very clear image of Peter sitting in the fourth chair, directing his play.

Josie Rourke, March 2002

Joe Matt Bardock Matt Bardock, Kick for Touch, 2002Theatre: Tom/Roy in Frame 312 (Donmar Warehouse); Raymond in Blue Remembered Hills (Royal National Theatre); Sweets in Mojo and Brian/Pete/Rob in Peaches (Royal Court); Anthony in The House Of Yes (the Gate). Television: The Art Of War (BBC Choice); Murphy's Law (Tiger Aspect); 'Orrible (BBC); Dirty Tricks (ITV); Last Christmas (BBC); Rocket To The Moon (LWT); Pay And Display (Carlton); Tom Jones (BBC); The Lakes (BBC); A Touch Of Frost (YTV). Film: Untitled 2001; Bollywood Queen; Jimmy Fizz; Honest; Topsy Turvy; This Year's Love.
Jim Justin Salinger Justin Salinger, Kick for Touch, 2002Training: Guildhall. Theatre: Len Bonny in Privates on Parade (Donmar); Achilles in Iphigenia (Abbey, Dublin); Nick in Under The Blue Sky (Royal Court); Nicholai in Jump Mr Malinoff, Jump (Soho Theatre); Sandy in The Backroom (Bush Theatre); John in Perpetua (Birmingham Rep); Peter Pan (Royal National Theatre); Borachio in Much Ado About Nothing (Cheek by Jowl); Dickie in Chips With Everything (Royal National Theatre); Candide (the Gate); Dona Rosita The Spinster (Almeida); Salome (Royal National Theatre Studio); Frankie in Dealer's Choice (Royal National Theatre). Television: Waking The Dead; Offenders; The Great Dome Robbery; The Vice; Dark Realm; London's Burning; The Bill. Film: The Revenger's Tragedy; Peaches; Velvet Goldmine.
Eileen Ruth Gemmell Ruth Gemmell, Kick for Touch, 2002Training: Webber Douglas. Theatre: Ancient Lights; The Weir; Nabokov's Gloves; The Turn Of The Screw; Othello; Measure For Measure; Uncle Vanya; An Ideal Husband; The Winter's Tale; The Second Mrs Tanqueray; The Importance Of Being Earnest; 'Tis Pity She's A Whore; The Country Wife; A Tale Of Two Cities. Television: Waking The Dead; Dalziel And Pascoe; Blue Dove; Holby City; Miller Shorts; The Bill; Four Fathers; The Alchemist; Macbeth; The Perfect Blue; Silent Witness; Peak Practice; Kavanagh QC; Band Of Gold; Who Needs A Heart? Film: Fever Pitch. Short Films: Perfect; Everywhere; A Stiff Drink. Radio: Ancient Lights; Maestro; Fireworks; The Candlemass Road; Sherlock Holmes; Teen Lurve; The Woman Of Judah; The House.
Boys Joe Ganley
Joe Damms
Director Josie Rourke Theatre: Josie's work as a director includes; the English language premiere of Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas (Dario Fo Festival); Henry IV (i) (Edinburgh Fringe) and Frame 312 (Donmar Warehouse).

As an assistant director Josie has worked on Dangerous Corner (Watford Palace Theatre -directed by Laurie Sansom); Luther (Royal National Theatre-directed by Peter Gill) and The York Realist, written and directed by Peter Gill produced by English Touring Theatre (Salford, Bristol and the Royal Court). Under the Carlton Bursary Scheme at the Donmar Warehouse, she was assistant director to Michael Grandage on Passion Play (also at the Comedy Theatre) and Merrily We Roll Along; to Nicholas Hytner on Orpheus Descending; to Sam Mendes on To The Green Fields Beyond and to Phyllida Lloyd on Boston Marriage (also at the New Ambassadors).

Designer Jessica Curtis Training: Motley Theatre Design Course.

Theatre: The Wizard Of Oz (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Macbeth (Nor Jyske Opera); Dangerous Corner (West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Garrick Theatre); The Clandestine Marriage (the Watermill Theatre); The Europeans (the British American Drama Academy); Arms And The Man (Exeter and the Mercury Theatre, Colchester); Three French Operas (Guildhall School of Music and Drama); Orpheus In The Underworld (Den Ny Opera, Denmark); Second To Last In The Sack Race (the New Victoria Theatre, Stoke); The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice (Salisbury Playhouse); Local Boy (Hampstead Theatre); Dangerous Corner (Palace Theatre, Watford); Sugar Sugar

(Bush Theatre); The Winter's Tale (Royal National Theatre Studio); 218: Underground (National Youth Theatre); The Rake's Progress and Don Giovanni (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama); The Rake's Progress (British Youth Opera); Vanessa (Trinity College of Music). Film: I Just Want To Kiss You (BBC 2 'Brief Encounters'); You Shall Have A Fishy (Open Eye Productions).

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