This December marks the coming of a much anticipated and much deserved new book from Clive Barker. The release
of "Incarnations" [ a book of Clive's plays containing "The History Of The Devil", Frankenstein
In Love", and Colususs"] is sure to spark a cord in the hearts and mind of all the fans that have been
asking, "when are they going to publish Clive's plays". In the circle where fans and fanatics alike,
are digging deeper in the well to scavenge some unread tidbit of Clive info, this is welcoming news. Lost Souls
is happy to bring you this exclusive interview with Clive concerning the release of the new book.
Lost Souls: When you wrote the plays for The Dog Company, how much involvement did the other players have with the writing?
Clive Barker: Not all three of these plays were written for The Dog Company. Colussus was written for a summer theatre school, In the case of History Of The Devil and Frankenstein In Love, it really depended on the project. Devil was written with quite a lot of involvement. It got changed a lot and developed in the rehearsal process. If memory serves, I think the material underwent quite a few changes as a consequence of the actors suggestions and contributions.
Lost Souls: Did you write specific roles for the actors?
Clive Barker: Yes, Devil was certainly written for Doug Bradley in mind for the devil, other roles were written with other performers in mind. Obviously what you are constantly trying to do is play to peoples strengths. Frankenstein In Love was slightly different, in the sense that it wasn't a play that I directed, it was directed by a man named Malcolm A Woods, who is now dead, but he was very, very good and a very opinionated director. He was an obsessive and he had a very clear vision of what the play should be. We had quite a few arguments about it actually. One of the things that I've done in "Incarnations" is restored to it's complete form of the play as I originally intended it. He performed it with a number of cuts, some of which I thought were detrimental to the material. So I actually put all of it back in place.
Lost Souls: Colussus is currently under production in Holland, are there any plans to produce any other plays here or abroad?
Clive Barker: There has been a lot of talk about other plans, and one of the reasons I am publishing these plays is to encourage people to do them. The plays are invitations in a way for people to come along and bring them life on the stage. It was very important to me that the plays were published and that they attract directors, producers, actors, and designers to come and make their own individual mark on them.
Lost Souls: The Green Company in Chicago, adapted "In The Flesh" and "Son Of Celluloid" for the stage, are they planning to do any more of your work?
Clive Barker: Steve Pickling and his people. Yes, Steve has moved on to another theatre. I think it is absolutely their desire to do that. I saw "In The Flesh", I didn't see, regrettably, "Son Of Celluloid".
Lost Souls: What do you miss about having The Dog Company around?
Clive Barker: Huge amounts. I miss the on going arguments. Powerfully held debates about powerfully held opinions. One of the things that happens when you have that kind of group is that you are constantly embroiled in the sea of opinions, which can be very good sometimes and in other senses destructive. One of the things that I enjoy about writing the novels is that I am not involved in the debate about every word that I put down on the page. When you are writing for actors and your writing for a company that already existed, there are a lot of things that you have to factor in [what peoples strengths are, their weaknesses, what people prolifics are]. Some of that is very good because it challenges you to find creative ways through narrative. Some of it is not so good because it is destructive to the freedom of the flow of your imagination, so the things I miss are the things I don't miss. There's always the companionship that's wonderful to have, but it was a time in our lives which we've all moved from. Oliver Parker is now [he is directing Lawerence Fishburne in a film of "Othello"]. Doug Bradley, of course, has gone on to his many fine wonderful things. A number of the other performers from the plays are very successful actors in England. So we have all gone our various ways.
Lost Souls: How do you feel about "The Forbidden" and "Salome" films being released on video?
Clive Barker: I think it's wonderfully! These are home movies; they are movies that were made in people's cellars and people's front rooms, with a lot of passion and no money. I think they are interesting little films, almost a thing prophetic about them in a sense, particularly in "The Forbidden" the atmosphere of dread and anxiety that hangs over the movie and obviously the erotic elements and the nails in the nail board. These definitely prefigure that what we see later in the "Hellraiser" movies. I think they are an interesting artifact, and I am glad they have found their way to video. Just for the average film go-er, they wouldn't mean a whole heap. For people who are really familiar with my whole mythology and my approach to things I think they are an interesting piece of insight as to how these images and ideas developed over the years.