Terence Frisby discusses his plays

Playwright Terence Frisby has directed his own “Funny About Love” as the opening production in the 2014 summer repertory theatre season at Sheringham’s Little Theatre.

How did it come about that you're directing your play Funny About Love in Sheringham?

Terence Frisby
Terence Frisby

Nicky Henson, who has directed at Sheringham and already staged two productions of Funny About Love, recommended the play to Debbie Thompson, the Little Theatre's artistic director. She liked it, and we met at a performance of one of my other plays where she was seeing Mary Lincoln, now playing the lead in Funny About Love. When Debbie said that she wanted to do Funny About Love, I offered to direct it – because I love directing my own plays.

Is it a favourite among your plays?

Yes, and I would love to see it in London where it has never been staged. The original producer for a London production died suddenly while we were still negotiating for a theatre. It has never had a real chance to be assessed.

Do you have a previous connexion with the Little Theatre, or with Norfolk?

Not really. I've played as a actor four or five times at the Norwich Theatre Royal and plays of mine have been staged there. I've also played golf at Brancaster! Otherwise I've never been here before. Lovely, isn't it?

What started you writing plays in the first instance?

Oh, what a question! It was so long ago… I suppose I thought that I could change the world for the better by some tiny amount.

Your first great success was There's A Girl In My Soup. Is it one of your favourites?

I don't think I have a particular favourite. There's A Girl In My Soup made me rich (it's all gone now – read my book Outrageous Fortune to find out how and why). It's about a middle-aged man and a teenage girl. Funny About Love is the reverse – a middle-aged woman and a young man.

Do you get more satisfaction from writing plays than other genres?

Plays. I'm now writing my first novel, though I've written two autobiographical books.

Do you enjoy directing?

I've directed many plays, but I really only enjoy doing my own work because I know pretty well what I want. I'm generally not so sure about other people's work.

With the Second World War anniversaries chasing those of World War One, have you plans to develop your evacuation childhood memories further?

My book Kisses on a Postcard was first a radio play and is now a stage musical with 22 children and 18 adults. I've just completed a chamber version of this with three children and seven adults. The website has the radio script, the various versions and extracts.