Kiss Me: An unconventional love story

Published: Thursday 5th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Richard Bean’s Kiss Me opens tonight at East Riding Theatre. We caught up with the acclaimed writer to find out more.

Richard has already had much success this year with The Hypocrite at Hull Truck Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as One Man, Two Guvnors in London’s West End.

Kiss Me tells the story of two people endeavouring to escape their past in the unpredictable world following the First World War.

The play is set in the 1920s, just after the war that saw so many men lost and injured. London has been turned upside down and the awful events of the last century are still having a huge impact on everyone’s lives.

Kiss Me follows the story of Stephanie, a war widow who is having a difficult time conceiving. Her dream is to become a mother. She meets Dennis, who has a rather unconventional profession but could be the answer to her problem. We caught up with Richard to find out more.

Great to chat with you, Richard. Can you tell us a little about the show?

Kiss Me was inspired by a piece of journalism, which related the story of a doctor after the First World War who found that she had many young widows on her books with no prospect of getting married.

She brokered a sperm donor, natural method obviously, and the journalism and research suggest that this man fathered over 500 children.

The doctor tried to create a bureaucratic, sterile process with many control parameters – only one meeting, no personal information shared and a rule of ‘don’t fall in love’.
Of course, as a playwright, such situations are rich for messing with the human side of us all.

You’re originally from Hull. Are you excited to be bringing Kiss Me to the area?

It’s always fantastic having plays on in the area, but especially in the City of Culture year, which already seems to be a great success. The new theatre at Beverley is also very exciting. I’ve had one script-in-hand show there already – Smack Family Robinson.

After writing plays for over two decades, what have you learned?

I’ve learned how difficult it is!

Why should people come along to see Kiss Me?

Audiences in London, where it was played at the Hampstead Theatre, mainly found the play compelling and intriguing. It’s also a love story in the same territory as Brief Encounter, which can’t be bad.

What’s next for you?

Opening Young Marx at the newly built 900-seat Bridge Theatre in London. It’s the story of Karl Marx as a young man in Soho. Very cheap tickets will be available from Saturday 14 October.

You can catch Kiss Me at East Riding Theatre until Saturday 28 October. For more information, please visit the East Riding Theatre website.

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Published: Thursday 5th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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