Student director enlists David Hare and Bill Nighy to advise on production

Date 31 May 2017

Second-year History & Politics student Hugh Tappin is directing a production of David Hare’s play 'Skylight' this term.

student production of Skylight, with David Hare, Trinity 2017Hugh invited the play's creator, David Hare, to come and watch rehearsals, offer the cast some advice and talk about his life and work. Speaking about the visit afterwards, Hugh commented:

‘Our meeting with David Hare today was absolutely wonderful. He talked to us about the show, about writing in general, and about working with the likes of Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon, who have both played the lead male role in the past. Obviously this was hugely helpful for the cast, and for me as well as director.

Hugh Tappin (far left) with David Hare and cast members Adam Diaper (Kellogg), Natalie Woodward (St Anne's) and Luke Wintour (New). photo Gabriella Farah 

'We were lucky to get David involved through theatre producer Thelma Holt CBE, whom both Natalie (the female lead) and I are working with on the OUDS Shakespeare Tour this summer. We’ll be going to, among other places, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe with As You Like It.  

'Bill Nighy is also coming in to speak to the Skylight cast next week, which will be hugely useful, given that he has played the male lead twice, once in 1997 and again in 2014. We are all really looking forward to that.’

Originally produced at London's National Theatre in 1995, Skylight won the Guardian's Best New Play award, a Tony and an Olivier Award. It is a tale of clashing beliefs and personalities against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain. Two former lovers meet for the first time in years. He is a successful restaurateur. She is a teacher at a struggling East End school. After their first affair ended in betrayal and pain, could they finally have a chance for happiness? But over the years, they’ve both changed. And now they find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.

Skylight is at the Burton Taylor Studio on 13–17 June. Tickets are available from the Oxford Playhouse