Who are Dick & Lottie?
I can’t recall how the name for the company came about except that in the foyer of the SJT sits the benefactors board, and although it was a decade since I’d donated funds to the theatre, my name sits on one of the boards. Above my name sits Dick Potter and Lottie Potter and I recall thinking how clever and imaginative that an anonymous donor had used the two off-stage characters to disguise their generosity.
I think that was the prompt for the name of the company. Over the years the one question I get asked – more often than not is – who are D&L?
For those of you who don’t know, Dick and Lottie Potter mainly feature as off-stage characters in “Absurd Person Singular”. They also get a brief mention in “Bedroom Farce”, “Absent Friends” and “Relatively Speaking”
Why Ayckbourn? I was first introduced to AA back in 1988. I’d started sixth form college in the centre of Manchester and in my free time I’d spend hours at the Geoffrey Clifton Theatre Book shop. As you entered the shop the right hand wall was adorned with every published script available – usually French’s acting editions. They were all in alphabetical order and starting at the very beginning, I picked up my very first AA script, flicked through it and read some dialogue – that play was “Absent Friends”.
From that point on I was hooked. I’d discovered Marge and her kitchen roll holder and that was it. AA is a great story teller. I enjoy the stories that he’s written; the complex and dysfunctional relationships; the clever structures of his plays; the challenges he sets theatre makers; the focus on women and their relationships with marriage and men; the breakdown in communication and language; the carefully crafted moments of chaos giving the audience moments of hilarity; the massive contribution to British theatre.
His plays have reflected the passing of time. The 70s saw reflections of domestic life: the 80s explored the political landscape and the swing to a more self obsessed society: the 90s he explored time: the 00’s saw technology play a huge part in his story telling. Over the last 5 decades, His plays reflect the way that we live now. I’ve spent so many years with these plays they’ve become like best friends.
As a company we’re thrilled to stage the more obscure titles in the canon and introduce them to a new audience.
John Cotgrave (Artistic Director)