Interview for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre Program for The Three Musketeers

What first attracted you to The Three Musketeers?

I find the most attractive, bracing part of the novel to be the characters. One after another, Dumas creates these iconic, mythic people who vibrate with life. D’Artagnan is the quintessential young man from the country who seeks his fame and fortune in the big city. The three musketeers themselves are a perfect range of quirky, romantic, breathtaking heroes for d’Artagnan to look up to. And the Cardinal and Milady are as villainous as one could ever hope. Dumas then takes these characters on a great, swashbuckling, roller-coaster ride of a plot. And the plot then enhances the characters and throws light on them. It’s all quite amazing.

What has been changed from the original story?

The biggest change is that I’ve given d’Artagnan a cheeky kid sister who goes to Paris with him.

What do you feel Sabine’s Character will bring to the production?

I added Sabine for two main reasons. First, I thought it would be interesting to view the story through a slightly different lens than we’re used to. I’ve meant to give it a slightly modern feel this way. If there’s nothing new and slightly contemporary about the experience, then it seems to me that there’s no point in doing it. Because the Bristol Old Vic has so many families that come to the show over the holidays, it seemed an ideal time to give the story a more feminine viewpoint to go along with the masculine viewpoint that is so ingrained in the story already.

Secondly, I thought it was important that d’Artagnan has someone in the story to whom he’s genuinely devoted. It means there’s more at stake. I’ve never believed that d’Artagnan has much invested in Constance. She’s his mistress and he says he loves her. But he also makes love to Milady – and to Milady’s maid. In Sabine, I tried to create someone who genuinely upped the stakes for d’Artagnan when there was peril afoot.

What do you want the audience to get out of the play?

I want the audience to come out feeling exhilarated. I want them to feel that they’ve taken part in one of the great stories of all time – that they’ve laughed, been frightened, cried – felt a part of this magnificent world that Dumas created; and I want them to feel that they enjoyed every second of it.

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