My post-show talk for Sinners at London’s Playground Theatre. © Peter Jones

I saw Brian Cox and his wife Nicole Ansari acting alongside one another in the premiere of Tom Stoppard’s 2006 play Rock ‘n’ Roll. It was wonderful to talk to them about working together onstage again in a very different capacity of a very different play.

Brian Cox makes one of his rare forays into directing to helm this European premiere of Sinners, written by Israeli writer Joshua Sobol (whose many other credits include the Evening Standard Award-winning Ghetto) and starring Nicole Ansari as a woman awaiting death by stoning for adultery in an unnamed Muslim fundamentalist country.

After Friday’s sold-out performance, I was joined by Sinners‘ writer, director and leading lady as well as Ansari’s co-star Adam Sina, who plays the lover plagued with the choice of saving his own life by casting the first stone.

  • What was the real-life incident that inspired the play?
  • How do we ‘stone’ women in different ways in Western society?
  • Why did Brian Cox want to swap acting for directing for this piece?
  • Why is making her husband a feminist one of Nicole Ansari’s proudest achievements?
  • What are the future plans for the piece?

Brian Cox also shared his views on directors and directing, how embracing his feminine side improves his art and, with a group from his alma mater LAMDA in the audience, his memories of drama school and why drama training is so valuable for anyone.

I’ll return for a second post-show discussion at Sinners on Wednesday 4 March 2020 to discuss more of the politics behind the play with the company.

Sinners continues at the Playground Theatre until 14 March 2020.

Q&A video

Sinners: Post-show Q&A

A thrilling start to the weekend, chairing this post-show talk at the European premiere of Sinners at London's The Playground Theatre, with award-winning Israeli writer Joshua Sobol; Brian Cox, taking a break from acting to direct the play; and stars Nicole Ansari (who is also married to Cox and co-produces) and Adam Sina. In an unnamed country, Layla is buried up to her chest, waiting to be stoned to death for an adulterous relationship with Nur. The play examines their choices for love and survival and the striving for freedom in a patriarchal culture. Nur can save his own life by throwing the first stone. Will he???Booking until 14 March only: MyTheatreMates

Posted by Terri Paddock Ltd on Friday, 28 February 2020
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Q&A photos

Event photography by Peter Jones.

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