Sunday, August 05, 2018

"It's not about being deliberately provocative"

Much like a dog, the League Of Gentlemen's comeback wasn't just for Christmas. On the contrary, the foursome are now gearing up for an arena tour. Kate Mossman's excellent interview feature for the New Statesman captures much of what is so special about Royston Vasey and those who inhabit it.

The article also gives illuminating insight into the town's creators - Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Jeremy Dyson - who were (self-)raised on an incessant diet of TV and video in the 1980s and 1990s and whose strong (though not uncritical) sense of northernness made them outsiders to the Oxbridge mainstream.

The decision to revisit Royston Vasey was evidently a tough one, given both the League's legacy and the various different projects that the writers/performers have since worked on (not least Shearsmith and Pemberton's Inside No. 9, accurately described as "a series of macabre and wondrous half-hour teleplays increasingly described as the best thing on TV").

However, the practicalities of making it happen were arguably even more challenging - from accounting for the fact that sensibilities are in many ways now more delicate than when the series was first screened (particularly with regard to Barbara) to finding a merkin big enough for Gatiss' Val Denton and coping with the gentrification of Hadfield, the real-life Royston Vasey ("We had no choice but to spend energy and money trying to make it not look nice").

No comments: