Robert Alan Evans is a writer, director and devisor working across the UK. He has worked extensively for young people including 'Pondlife', 'Pobby and Dingan' and 'The Voice Thief' for Catherine Wheels Theatre Company along with 'Mikey and Addie' for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. He is also co-creator of dance pieces 'Tiger' and 'Little Red' at Tramway.
His work for adults includes 'Ignition' (National Theatre of Scotland); 'A Girl in a Car with a Man' (Royal Court Theatre) and 'The Cracks' (BBC Radio 4).
In 2018, his adaptation of Kes will be playing at Leeds Playhouse and his latest show The Woods, starring Lesley Sharp will be on at The Royal Court 9th Sept-13th October 2018.
Represented by Casarotto Ramsay, he is the winner of two CATS awards, a TMA award and the Prix D’Orpheon (voted for by the children of South West France). His work is published by Faber & Faber, Samuel French and L’Arche Editeur.
The Curious Interview with Robert Alan Evans
Photography by Gemma O'Brien
What are you most Curious about?
Other people. I love most other people. I mean, they’re totally fascinating. I like parties where you can speak to someone for ages and by the end you’ve found out they have a secret sister in Singapore and sometimes want to smash their partner’s face in with the iron.
I love it when people tell you what arseholes their children are or how they want to run away. I do believe in people and in community and I love listening to stories.
When I moved to London people said that it’s harder and more unfriendly. I don’t think that’s true. I find that almost everyone in London loves to chat and I find they also want to help and be kind, they just don’t always get the chance because they’re shoved up against someone’s armpit or being knocked in the back by a stranger. There’s just not a lot of room.
How does your Curiosity serve your Creativity?
I work with people. I often collaborate on projects. If I didn’t like people and find them fascinating I don’t really know how I could make anything. Not just in terms of a satisfying creative team, but also in finding material to write about.
Any writer whose work I like is also a listener. I do watch a fair bit of theatre by writers who don’t seem to listen; rather, they want you to listen to them, but I usually find that stuff quite dull and closed. Curiosity means you are open, and a good story also has to be open, I think. I don’t want to know what some writer thinks is the answer, I just want them to have found a good question and asked it in a surprising and beautiful way.
What Inspires you?
People being good. Self-sacrifice. People who are moral.
I also find the sea really inspiring. I like swimming in it, floating on it, looking at it, listening to it.
Movement inspires me. When I’m working on a play I usually have no ideas sitting down, everything comes from the times I’ve been walking or on a train or driving through Glen Coe.
How would you describe your style?
For a while it was all dark; black jeans and blue t-shirts, a classic East End gay look which I think I learned very quickly on becoming unexpectedly single and having to re-learn London on my own. And then last year I got happier and bought loads of bright coloured shirts that I love. I want to wear more and more clashing patterns and see what happens.
I went out with a beautiful guy who always wore anything he wanted. It was inspiring. He always went for the colours and textures that he liked and because he didn’t worry about what he looked like, he just looked amazing. I delighted in that and have tried to do the same.
What do you particularly like about Wool & Water?
I got my braces [Suspenders/Bretels] through and I think they’re the most beautiful things I own. I like the detail on them and the cotton feels amazing.
This morning I wore them round Victoria Park and a guy stopped and chatted to me just because I was wearing braces. I learned all about his two sons who study astro-physics, but can’t open a can of beans and are constantly getting lost. I think that fits, I think there’s something generous about Alice’s website and blog, far more than just a shop; everything she makes will also help start a conversation.
When I wear my W&W Braces I...
want to go out and show people.
Rob's Wool & Water piece of choice are the Blue & Red Suspenders/Bretels, handmade by me in Cotton and Elastic.
Follow Rob's theatrical adventures via his website here, find his work to read here and if you are in London during the run of his new play 'The Woods' catch it at The Royal Court.
With enormous thanks to Photographer Gemma O'Brien for the beautiful imagery. You can see more of her work via her website and on Instagram @gemma_obrien_photo