Clive Anderson at Winner's Curse post-show Q&A at the Park Theatre

Clive Anderson at Winner’s Curse post-show Q&A at the Park Theatre

Negotiations seem to be in the news every day. Strike negotiations between employers and workers, trade negotiations between Westminster and Brussels, peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, or negotiations around countless other national and international conflicts – the public are fascinated by negotiations and bewildered by lack of progress in them.

All of which makes Winner’s Curse, conceived by former diplomat and veteran of countless Middle East negotiations Daniel Taub, a highly topical piece. It not only lifts the lid on what happens behind closed doors during peace talks but also educates the audience on negotiation theory and allows us to put some of that theory into practice.

But at my post-show Q&A for Winner’s Curse this week, we talked about collaboration as much as negotiation.

More specifically the ongoing collaboration between TV and radio presenter Clive Anderson, who acts as Winner’s Curse‘s narrator and master of ceremonies, and Dan Patterson, who co-wrote the piece with Daniel Taub. Anderson and Patterson first started working together nearly 40 years ago and count amongst their joint long-running successes, improv hit Whose Line Is It Anyway? and television chat shows Clive Anderson Talk Back and Clive Anderson All Talk.

“Making war is a dirty business. So is making peace.” 

It was Patterson who recommended Clive for the Winner’s Curse role of ambassador Hugo Leitski who, when accepting a Peace Prize, delivers a speech on his ‘Life in Negotiation’ which includes a recollection of his first peace talks, negotiating a settlement between two warring (fictional) Eastern European countries.

In addition to their experiences on Winner’s Curse, Clive and Dan talked about how they work together, the key differences between television and theatre (not just the pay scales!), the challenges of audience interaction, their support for the Park Theatre, now marking its tenth anniversary season at Finsbury Park and, naturally, the art of negotiation.

We also had contributions from three of Clive’s co-stars – Michael Maloney and newcomers Winnie Arhin and Arthur Conti (who plays the younger version of Clive’s character).

Winner’s Curse continues at London’s Park Theatre until 11 March 2023.

Q&A video

Q&A photos

Event photography by Georgina Calvey.

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