When memories are lost in time, a world comes to its end. In his second visit to Athens, since 1996 when he was on vacation in the greek islands, the writer of ‘World's End', Paul Sellar attended on Friday evening the opening of his play, which is staged for the first time in Greece at @Rouf Theatre. The writer of ‘Bedsit' and ‘Dark is the Night' writes with honesty and sensitivity the mortuary of an oxidized relationship in the passing of time, in cities which twirl in style, consumerism and appearance…..
How did ‘World's End' turn up?
Partly from personal experiences. But not totally. It is mostly a play of fiction, which is only emotionally autobiographical. I see myself in all the characters. Most of the situations that are described in the play come from other people's experiences or situations that I have observed around me. Above all however, it is a play written with honesty and realism.
What urged you to work on writing?
The truth is that it has been a very long time and I can't really remember how it was not being a writer. I always liked writing. It's something I never stopped wanting to do. Since I was 17 I was interested in theatre. In fact I used to direct and act in plays at the school I attended. Then I attended acting studies at the University of Bristol , where other remarkable people studied at that time, who later worked on theatre.
Would you say that you see more of yourself in Ben's character?
I'd say yes, but to a certain extend. Ben's character is more like an alter ego for me, but there are elements in him that have nothing to do with me. Especially now that I am older than the time that the play was written. I would say that I can recognize his bewilderment and his strain as a writer who works hard and has ambitions, as well as his insecurity in the interpersonal relationships he develops.
If time changes everything you loved in one person, can you still love them?
This is a very interesting question because this is exactly where the essence of the play lies. In a clear emotional and romantic basis I would say yes. You can still be madly in love with a person, like Ben is with Kat. But what I find more terrifying and disappointing is the realization of this change of the other. Nevertheless Kat is still the same person that Ben once loved and no matter how much he can feel this change he cannot stop loving her.
In the play you seem to denounce social relationships which are shaped in the modern, cold, consuming urban environment. Do you believe that all these affect the configuration of essential interpersonal relationships?
I believe that the 90s were styled and oriented towards a consuming way of life and one of the points that the play makes is that someone can hide behind the peripheral side of things and use it as a mask behind which he feels safety and protection. For Ben, this way of life is something he can't choose. Something he can't have, something that he feels threatens him, that's why he is desperately trying to mock it.
Do you think that the economic crisis that is spreading all over the world contributes in a review of our way of life?
I think that especially in periods of social or economic crises, love plays a very important role, and this is something that we should not forget. The play is trying to remind us all these emotions that matter in a stressful, anxious and insecure environment, which is destructive for human relationships.
Where there any differences between this play and the production you have seen abroad?
The productions were all different. I believe that it was centered in the right direction and directed in a way that the human element is accented. I liked the style and the aesthetics of the performance and I found the actors' reading very natural.