Critically acclaimed writer and performer, John Osborne returns to Barbican Theatre, Plymouth on Thursday 19 March following his sell out double bill of John Peel’s Shed and Circled In The Radio Times in 2019.
You’re In a Bad Way is based on the real life reactions of John’s friend Polly and her sister when their father is diagnosed with dementia, and both react in very different ways.
“This is a storytelling show based on the true story of my friend, when her dad was diagnosed with dementia. It felt like the kind of story I’d never heard before and I wondered what would happen if I started writing it up as a theatre show. Hopefully it’s an uplifting, warm, funny show, but it focusses on a topic that’s increasingly dominant in people’s lives.”
“This is my fourth storytelling show; it’s a format I really enjoy, something between theatre and stand-up, and I’ve really enjoyed writing it and putting it all together. I’ve become more fascinated with dementia. Just because you’ve been diagnosed with something, doesn’t mean it’s the end”.
“I wrote it a couple of years ago. It didn’t feel right for a long time, so I didn’t perform it for a year, but it was still hanging around in the back of my mind. I didn’t want to do anything with it until I got it right though. Then one day earlier this year I had an idea for it, sat down and suddenly it seemed like something I wanted to perform and do as a show. I did some previews, took it up to Edinburgh and now it’s on tour.
I don’t have a director or producer or script editor or any funding, it’s just me writing it and hoping I’m doing a good enough job!”
Dan Baker, Barbican Theatre’s Creative Producer says
“John has this amazing ability to make every performance warm and familiar – seeing one of his shows feels like catching up with an old friend! After John Peel’s Shed last year audiences said they could have listened to him for hours, and we couldn’t agree more! So we’re thrilled to have him back with his latest show. John’s work is genuine, relevant and will leave you feeling better about the world.”
While the subject of dementia can be sensitive and often filled with sadness, John wants You’re In A Bad Way to be an optimistic, positive story. He says
“I hope people who are living with dementia and who know people who have dementia will come to the show, but the show is mainly for people who like stories and theatre. It’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever worked on, and it’s funny and a big unusual, mysterious true story so I hope people come along and enjoy it.”
John has had an impressive career to date, writing for theatre performance as well as radio and television.
In 2011 he made a show called John Peel’s Shed, a storytelling show about a box of records he won in a competition on John Peel’s Radio 1 show. He took it to Edinburgh and it sold out its entire run, then went on a sixty date UK tour, with performances at Soho Theatre, Glastonbury and of course Plymouth! It was also adapted for BBC Radio 4 and was followed by a further 6 pieces created for the station. John’s television writing credits include Sky 1’s After Hours, a sitcom about music and radio, directed by Craig Cash and starred Jaime Winstone, Ardal O’Hanlon, and John Thomson. He is the author of three non-fiction books; Radio Head: Up and Down the Dial of British Radio, The Newsagent’s Window: Adventures in a World of Second-Hand Cars and Lost Cats and Don’t Need the Sunshine.
John Osborne’s You’re In a Bad Way is at Barbican Theatre, Plymouth Thursday 19 March 2020 7:30pm. Tickets £11.50/£13.50. Book tickets here or call 01752 267131