Amy chats to Philippa Lawford, writer of Ikaria, ending its UK tour at Park Theatre in November.

Can you tell us a little about Ikaria?

Ikaria is a love story set in a student bedroom, over the course of a spring term at university. There are just two actors and the play is very intimate look at a tender and claustrophobic relationship. Ikaria explores dependency and isolation, in a very naturalistic and detailed way.

Ikaria is your first full-length play – how are you feeling following its successful run at the Old Red Lion and taking it on tour?

We’ve had a brilliant time on tour, taking the show to six UK theatres and meeting new audiences. It has been very useful for us to trial different elements of the show in different locations and we have made some useful changes to the play. Ikaria is a very satisfying project to work on as we have a wonderful, talented team and there is a shared vision between us that makes working together fun and exciting.

How do you write in a way to convey genuineness in the motif of the first-year uni couple?

I think that writing is a form of improvising, so I write by trying to enter into the emotional headspace and given circumstances of each character, and then just write what feels natural to say. And then I trim it back in the process of editing. I find it helpful to focus on physical feelings while writing – if the characters are hungry, tired, uncomfortable, cold etc – as that will influence how they speak.

What makes Ikaria original?

I think the originality of Ikaria is in its style more than its story. The play uses a lot of silence and very close up, detailed examination of real life. It’s very emotionally rich and the realism allows the audience to feel as if they are peering through a window into a real relationship.

Why should audiences see the show?

Audiences will find the show romantic, moving, funny and nostalgic. Anyone who remembers being twenty – or who is twenty – will find lots to relate to.

Ikaria will be at Park Theatre from 28 November to 2 December. You can find tickets here.

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