'John Rogan came to me with this play and I thought, 'Why not?' I'd wanted to direct but hadn't, simply because of circumstances. Suddenly, here was the perfect opportunity. It gave me a chance to tax the old brain, and he'd done all the hard work like raising the money and so on, so here I am.
On Borrowed Time is a Capra-esque comedy written in 1938 and revived in the States a few years ago with George C Scott. 'It's set 'Down South' and you think it's going to be one of those down-on-the-farm numbers, when all of a sudden Death appears and it all goes a bit weird and surreal. I love that. The Grandfather sends Death up a tree and everyone has to face up to never having to die.'
'I don't have great vision. Maybe all I can do is be useful to an actor. I know I'm supposed to say how relevant it is; it may not be the world's greatest play, but it's fun and I like it. It's a bit funny, a bit sad, a bit mad, a bit poignant. . . It's hardly Deborah Warner material.'
'On Borrowed Time' previews from tonight at the Southwark Playhouse (071-620 3494)
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