You may remember reading Phillip Pullman’s I Was a Rat as a child. First published in 1999, this famous children’s novel has been transformed into a stage production, designed for all ages, by Teresa Ludovico. Before the play opens at the Nottingham Playhouse at the end of March, Impact spoke to Teresa about the upcoming performance. 

What drew you to the novel I Was a Rat?

I have wanted to bring one of Philip Pullman’s stories to the stage for some time because I find his work very close to my own poetic style of theatre.  I really like this story because despite its fairy-tale structure it deals with contemporary issues, such as the power of the press, which creates bogus news, purely for economic or political reasons.

Why did you decide to make it into a play?

Philip Pullman’s story contains all the right ingredients to create a theatrical adaptation.  It has a gripping plot, clearly defined characters, and moves between tragic and comic situations.

How did you go about making it into a play?

I imagined the show with a dreamlike quality but very visual, with strong emotions so it still feels very real. The staging is beautifully simplistic but the stories will be told through lighting and costume, inspired by the illustrator and artist Mattioti. For the audience it’s almost as though they are sitting in front of a graphic novel, with each scene like another page in the book.

Did you get to work with Phillip Pullman and if so how was that?

I was very lucky to meet Philip Pullman twice during the creative process, meetings which enabled me to discuss with him my intuitions for the staging of the work.  Philip’s great humanity and simplicity inspired me and guided me throughout the making of the show.

What do you think audiences will take away from this production?

I hope they will take away a feeling of great joy and a heightened awareness that the “other”, or even being different, isn’t so monstrous after all.

What is your personal favourite aspect of the play?

The great versatility of the company, because it reflects the diversity that resides in each of us.

Emily Zinkin

I was a Rat comes to the Nottingham Playhouse from Tuesday 26th March – Saturday 13th April 2013. For ticket information go to:
http://www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk/whats-on/drama/i-was-a-rat/

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