In the Spotlight: Skylight
| 10:00AM.July 9th, 2012
Brian Mani talks lost (and found) love in Skylight .
Costume rendering by Devon Painter.
APT: Could you give us a brief summary of the play as you see it?
Brian: I see the play as a love story, but not a typical love story. It's about a love that started as an affair. It was discovered by Tom's wife, Alice, and ended at that moment. But it remained suspended, unfinished, unmoving, in the hearts and minds of Kyra and Tom ever since. For four years. And I think it's a love that has lived with both of them every moment since. Neither of them has been able to move on to another relationship - healthy or otherwise. It has sent Kyra on a journey of helping others less fortunate with no regard of her own quality of life. And it has sent Tom on a downward spiral which, through escaping into his work, has ironically made him wealthier, more successful, but also lonlier than he's ever been in his life.
In the wake of the discovery of the affair, his wife was diagnosed with cancer and has died. He provided for her and nursed her through the terrible illness. But she never forgave him, and he's lost the vital part of his entire life through all this loss. His relationship with his son is fractured. And all of that has happened before the play even begins.
I think this is a play about loss, and a desperate attempt to get back the infinite potential that a love between two people holds. It's sexy, it's brutal, it's funny, it's biting, it's raw, it's full of emotion and it's honest.
APT: What do you think motivates your character?
Brian: Love.The life-giving force that love contains. His love for Kyra was interrupted and he wants to see if it's still possible to possess that love again.
APT: What's your take on Tom's relationships with the Kyra and Edward?
Brian: With Edward, he has a problem. Although their history and their life at home is not actually included in the text of the play, hints are given. I think Edward represents guilt to Tom. He represents Tom's relationship with Alice, the lack of closure with her. He represents Tom's ever-increasing absences through her three-year illness, brought on by his guilt. I can imagine Tom was not a very "hands-on" type of father, that Alice was the true parent in the family. Edward was a teenager through Alice's illness, and Tom probably didn't provide the right type guidance for Edward through that hard, hard time. So, they communicate poorly. Tom is bottled up with things that he feels he can never utter to Edward because he feels so guilty.
For Kyra, as much as he wants her back in his life, he wants her back only on certain terms. And I think she feels the same way. They both want the other to give in to the scenario they each have for an ideal relationship. And neither is willing to budge very much. On top of all this, they have diametrically opposing political views. Tom is a man that was brought up from "bog-ordinary people". He started building an empire of posh restaurants at an early age, and his blunt manner and no-nonsense approach to business has appealed to "all ages, all types", to the point that he even started to delve into the hotel business with an empire that reaches across to America. He's a Capitalist, all the way! Kyra came from a wealthy, coastal existence, the daughter of a lawyer, but also the daughter of a "cold, chilly" childhood. Her mother died early in her life and her father fell short of raising her in a loving manner. And she now works in a low-income school on the edge of London, and lives across town in another awful area of London. And is a Liberal, all the way!! So, they have their work cut out for them if they are going to find any sort of middle ground and the possibility of a future.
APT: What makes Skylight special?
Brian: Its raw emotion. Its immediacy. Its humor. Its almost Shavian arguments, at times. But most of all, its brutal honesty.
APT: Anything you'd like to add?
Brian: I don't think APT has ever staged anything quite like this play. I'm so excited to hear and feel the audience experience this event.Categorized under Plays, Behind the Scenes