April 1994. A 27-year-old man sits alone in an attic extension on the cusp of becoming a Seattle suicide statistic. This man is no ‘number and name’ to be reported in a local newspaper. He is an icon, albeit a reluctant one. The frontman of Nirvana is about to pull the trigger of the gun in his hand and join the leagues of rock star deaths down the ages.
Without invitation, Kurt Cobain is visited by a man purporting to be the Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious, Kurt’s hero and another heroin addict suicide, who’s determined to talk him out of it. The two music legends trade quips and quotes about the emptiness of fame, a mutual understanding of drug addiction and self-destruction.
Dyer is best known for his screen roles in films like The Football Factory, Adulthood, Human Traffic, Mean Machine, The Business, The All Together and Doghouse. His stage credits include Pinter plays The Homecoming and Celebration at the Almeida, and No Man’s Land at the National.
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PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.
In Kurt & Sid, Dyer stars opposite Shaun Evans as Kurt Cobain. Evans’ credits include Teachers, The Take, Ashes to Ashes and The Virgin Queen on TV and Telstar and Being Julia on film. On stage, he’s been seen in Blue/Orange, directed by Kathy Burke at Sheffield Crucible.
Roy Smiles’ other plays include Get It While You Can, A Conversation With Janis Joplin, Schmucks, which imagined a meeting between Groucho Marx and Lenny Bruce, Ying Tong about Spike Milligan and the Goons, the George Orwell-focused Year of the Rat, and Pythonesque, centring on the original Monty Python team, which has its UK premiere at next month’s Edinburgh Fringe.
Kurt & Sid is directed by Tim Stark and designed by Cordelia Chishol, with lighting by Mark Doubleday. It’s produced by Andrew Jenkins and Thomas Hopkins.