London Artist Projects
Based on a play by Mick Goldstein
Adapted and arranged by Jeremy Goldstein
Verse by Henry Woolf
Directed by Jen Heyes
Producer Nick Williams
Photos by Darren Black
Jen has been instrumental in the artistic development of our new play ‘Spider Love’ which we have created with Henry Woolf
Spider Love is a new play inspired by the political and philosophical beliefs of Harold Pinter and his Hackney Gang. Pinter captured their youthful experiences in his only novel, The Dwarfs.
It’s 1975, 20 years on. Harold is a world-renowned playwright at the peak of his fame. Childhood friend and Gang member Mick Goldstein is down on his luck in Melbourne. A local production of The Dwarfs forces him to face his past and younger self, as their oldest friend from the Gang, Henry Woolf, appears as an intrepid time traveller from the Promised Land.
Part fact, part fiction, Spider Love hurtles through time and space, myth and memory, and the living and the dead to celebrate the power of family and friendship, and the lengths we go to preserve it.
Originally written in 1975 as Will’s Friend, Spider Love is Mick’s personal response to being written into The Dwarfs by his best friend Harold. Mick’s son Jeremy has adapted the play using letters between the Hackney Gang which are now on public record at the British Library Harold Pinter Archive, and drawn on personal history, poetry and memory from Henry Woolf – the last surviving member of the Hackney Gang, who appears in the play as himself.
This event includes a conversation between Henry Woolf and Guardian critic and Pinter biographer Michael Billington, alongside a work-in-progress reading of the play and a Q&A with Jeremy Goldstein
Cast: Alan Cox, Caroline O’Hara, Mark Rice-Oxley, Joseph Simons, Henry Woolf
In 2016 the play was workshopped at the Brisbane Powerhouse followed by a private reading to an invited audience at The Barbican Pit Theatre.
Funded by Arts Council England with support from Arcola Theatre and Barbican Centre London and Brisbane Powerhouse Australia.