Speaking at last night's (4 May 2011) Whatsonstage.com Outing to Ecstasy at the Duchess Theatre, director and filmmaker Mike Leigh revealed that having revived one of his plays for the first time with the Hampstead Theatre production he has no plans return to any of his others. When asked if he would be tempted by such projects Leigh's response was straightforward: "No. There are only five plays of mine in existence. This is the only one I've got any interest in doing, that's the long and the short of it," going on to objectively list his reasons for not reviving his other works. Leigh highlighted his fondness for the piece as the motivation for abandoning his typical improvisational style to develop productions adding: "I love the play and I wanted to see a good production of it."
Ecstasy centres on a group of old friends who come together in a Kilburn bed-sit with the Winter of Discontent just over and Margaret Thatcher’s regime about to transform the country. The play premiered at the Hampstead Theatre in 1979 and Leigh revived the play at the request of the venue's new artistic director Edward Hall, opening on 11 March before transferring to the Duchess Theatre on 12 April for a 50-performance season, closing on 28 May 2011.
You can listen to the full post-show Q&A, part of the Whatsonstage.com Outing to Ecstasy here.