An interview with award-winning playwright Torben Betts

An interview with DSL alumnus and award-winning playwright Torben Betts, writer of 2023 graduate production, Nobody Wants to Kill You. 

What is it like to come back to DSL to watch a graduate production that you have written, performed by DSL actors?

It was over thirty years ago that I left DSL so the main feeling is that life goes by very fast. I always feel like I’m just starting out trying to write plays, although I’ve been doing it a long time now, which I guess is a good thing. We’re all learners really no matter what age we are!

This is the third graduate production that you have been commissioned to write for DSL, can you tell us a bit about the other experiences?

It is important to write plays in which each actor has a substantial role to showcase their talents. My 2021 play was called THE ILUSION OF TIME and was a two-hander in six scenes, so we had six different pairs of actors in the roles. Last year I wrote EIGHT LITTLE CRIMINALS which comprised ten scenes, based on real-life criminal interrogations. This year I’ve adapted a pre-existing play, NOBODY WANTS TO KILL YOU, which is very much an ensemble piece. Sue Dunderdale has directed the roles very cleverly so everyone has their moment in the limelight.

Can you tell us why you think that graduate productions are important for actors as they prepare to enter the industry?

It’s a great idea to invest in these large-cast graduate productions. All the actors get to work together on a new play or adaptation, directed by experienced theatre professionals. Long may it continue!

Photos of Nobody Wants to Kill You, directed by Sue Dunderdale, performed by graduating actors from the PG Dip/MA in Professional Acting