Death of England | Clint Dyer and Roy Williams | “What is this country?”

(♪ GUITAR PLAYS GENTLE MELODY) The real heartbeat is this man
going on this journey, who’s going through one of the worst
things that sadly most of us will endure – the loss of a loved one. Basically, he’s doing what we all do
when we do lose a loved one. We question our own mortality and question who we are, what do we
believe in and where we’re going. Grief has a way
of forcing you to accept their flaws, but also analyse their flaws. It’s difficult for someone
to sometimes accept that they were different
from how you saw them. That the person you knew,
the relationship you had with them was only a portion of the person. Well, Rafe originally played the part
in the microplay. In the play, he’s completely
and utterly on his own, and he’s going to have
to try and create the world through the words, and evoke them for the audience. He’s a writer’s dream,
not just a director’s dream – a writer’s dream who lifts your words. Dad had got to the Duke early
to reserve a couple of stalls at the front because he hated standing up.
I said, “Dad, we can watch it at home.” He said, “No, I want to watch it
on the big screen.” Because he was desperate
for some “English glory”. I suppose, trying to create a character that spoke of the disenfranchisement of football fans kind of lent us towards making it
a white, working-class character. After long conversations
about how we could keep the energy and the emotion of the piece,
we set it around a funeral. Michael’s journey in the play, I suppose you could say is a metaphor
for kind of what’s going on now. The death of his father
is the death of old England, and Michael represents, potentially,
a new England. I think myself and Clint, we’re using him to ask that question, “What does that mean?” Michael is undoubtedly a cipher for me
and Roy to express a take on Britain. The idea of actually being active
in what you believe, as opposed to just allowing somebody else
to be the mouthpiece of what you believe. How English is he? And also, how English
did his dad think he was, himself? What is this country? Where are we going
and what are we doing with it? What are we doing with this…
you know, with England?

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