'It's a story I've always wanted to tell...'

Felix Grainger and Gabriel Fogarty-Graveson have co-written and act in OVO and Make It Beautiful's co-production of Gawain and the Green Knight. We caught up with them in a brief break from rehearsals, and asked them what they're loving about the show.

Felix Grainger

Co-founder of Make it Beautiful, Co-writer of Gawain and the Green Knight, and Actor.

What inspired you to write an adaptation of Gawain and the Green Knight?
Whilst it was written at the same time as Chaucer, it’s a different type of English, based in the West Midlands, in and around Staffordshire and North Shropshire, which where I’m from.  So it’s a story I’ve always wanted to tell.
How is it different to the original? 
We have updated it, brought our own modern language and style to it.  It’s such a crazy, mental and convoluted story and we wanted to put our Make it Beautiful spin on it and update it for a modern audience. 
What do you think the audience might make of Gawain?
Gawain is a sympathetic character, in that he is trapped in this absurd world of office work, where the company is too focused on productivity and not on the individuals’ well-being and it’s something many of us can identify with.  That absurd world he is trapped in then leads naturally onto the absurd journey that he goes on.  I think everyone will see a bit of themselves in Gawain, an absurd hero, trapped in a system that he is just trying to make sense of.
Why will people enjoy the show?
It’s silly, it’s fun.  There are people in knights costumes, sword fights, dance moves, jokes and songs.  It’s got everything you could want from it! 

Gabriel Fogarty-Graveson

Co-founder of Make It Beautiful, Co-writer of Gawain and the Green Knight, and Actor.

Tell us about ‘Make it Beautiful’ and how it all started.
We all met at Drama Centre London and had a similar idea of how theatre should be – fun, punky, entertaining, and we wanted to make it beautiful, as our name suggests.  It’s essentially about a comedy, with heart.  We put comedy at the heart of what we do.  We always try to find the joy in whatever topic we write about, even if it’s a sad one. We really like the balance of comedy and drama – a lot of people shy away from that, but we don’t. 
How have you brought comedy to Gawain and the Green Knight? 
Any old knight’s tale is hilarious when you modernise it.  We wanted Gawain to take his journey seriously and then allow the world around him to be as ridiculous as the original story was.  I think the quest he was set on in the original tale is just as crazy and chaotic as the one we show in this play. 
How have rehearsals been going? 
All the actors are really comfortable with each other, and with the director.  We all trust each other and have good chemistry, which has allowed us to bring the weird, to suggest things and to have some really playful dialogue.