Interview with 'The Robbers' director Rupert Hands
Can you tell me a bit about the play?
The Robbers is the first play by Friedrich Schiller, and is a searing portrait of morality, psychology, and the nature of good and evil.
What does the new adaptation by Mike Poulton bring to the play?
Mike is one of the best theatrical translators and adapters in the world. He always brings an intelligence, an incisiveness, an accessibility and an urgency to his translations and adaptations.
What are some of the main themes that you hope to bring out?
It’s easy to say this is a play about masculinity, but I can’t wait to see what this talented all female cast brings to this production. Ultimately though, I think it’s always about trying to strip away all the superfluous noise which might bog us down, and drive to the essence and the truth of the characters and the story.
Where are you planning to set it?
Our production won’t be specifically 'period' or specifically ‘modern day'. It must exist in its own world, with its own rules and own consistent devices.
How do you think the students will interact with the play?
I’m sure the students will relish tackling something so visceral and raw, and enjoy the process of finding our own language to create these characters and tell this story.
What are some of the challenges presented by the play?
The Robbers is referred to in some quarters as an early example of European melodrama. Melodrama is such a dynamic and theatrical form of storytelling, so we will want to marry that with creating something which also feels truthful and pertinent to modern times. There is also a lot of violence in this piece which must take a different form in an environment of Covid.
Can you describe it in 3 words?
Visceral, dynamic, dark