INTERVIEW: Anthony Horowitz talks ahead of his Mind-bending drama Mindgame’s run at the Belgrade

INTERVIEW: Anthony Horowitz talks ahead of his Mind-bending drama Mindgame's run at the Belgrade

Anthony Horowitz’s Mindgame arrives at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry next month – a gripping psychological thriller from the mind behind the likes of Alex Rider, Foyle’s War and New Blood that’s guaranteed to get brains working.

Starring Andrew Ryan and Birmingham-born and trained Michael Sherwin, the show follows the story of “true crime” writer Mark Styler and his efforts to get an interview with the notorious serial killer Easterman. But as he attempts to get past Dr Farquhar, the quixotic head of the asylum where Easterman is being kept, he soon discovers that all is not exactly as it seems. Who is the mysterious Borson? Where did he get the meat in the fridge? And why is there no skeleton in the closet?

Ahead of performances in Coventry running from Tuesday 14 until Saturday 17 March, bestselling novelist and acclaimed scriptwriter Anthony Horowitz tells us more about what to expect…

What can audiences expect when Mindgame comes to town?

Well, the play has been all around the country and audiences seem to have been enjoying its mix of shocks, surprises and strange twists. It’s quite a violent thriller but it also has a sense of humour. 

Where did the inspiration for Mindgame come from?

I’m interested in magic and illusion. I wanted to write a play that used the stage – and the theatre – in a different way. I also wanted to see if it was possible to completely bamboozle an audience with just three people.

There are plenty of twists and turns to keep audiences guessing – do you think it’s harder to convey a thriller on stage or in a book?

Writing a thriller for the stage is one of the hardest things in the world. You know you’re in a theatre. You know there are people acting on a stage. So how do you get past that? How do you suck an audience into this world?

 The story is about a serial killer, are readers and audiences generally shocked, surprised or intrigued by the topic?

So far, audiences have been all three! Certainly, when you get to the interval you have to ask yourself what’s going to happen next. It feels as if the play has nowhere left to go. But then, in Act Two, everything begins to untwist itself…

 Do you have a favourite character from Mindgame?
I’m afraid I like all three characters equally. It’s also worth adding (without giving too much away) that nothing is quite what it seems in Mindgame. Everything changes.

What’s the biggest challenge when writing a thriller?

The biggest challenge when writing a thriller is to thrill.

Of all of the books you’ve written, which is your favourite and why?

Stormbreaker, the first Alex Rider adventure, is my favourite because it’s the book that changed my life. I’m also proud of my first James Bond novel…which is an excuse for me to mention that I have very nearly finished the second!

 When’s your favourite time to write? When does inspiration strike?

I write pretty much all day. I find that I’m inspired all the time. I’m very lucky because I love writing, I’m not much good at anything else, and somehow I’ve managed to sustain a long career.

 As well as plays and novels, you’ve also written for tv and are a journalist ˜ what do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love walking my dog in Suffolk. I go to the theatre a lot. I enjoy films, dinners, seeing my family and friends. Of course, I read a lot. I’m always travelling. I’d hate you to think that I spend my entire life sitting on my own in a room. It’s just a big chunk of it.

Anthony Horowitz’s Mindgame runs at the Belgrade Theatre 14-17 March. Tickets are available to purchase now by calling the Box Office on 024 7655 3055, or by visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.