When Mark Styler, a writer of glossy 'true crime' paperbacks, tries to get an interview with Easterman, a notorious serial killer, he has no idea what he's walking into. First he has to get past Dr Farquhar, the quixotic head of Fairfields - the asylum where Easterman is kept.
But soon he discovers that nothing is what it seems. Who is the mysterious Borson? Where did he get the meat in the fridge? And why isn't the skeleton in the closet?
Anthony Horowitz created Foyles War, the BBC’s New Blood, Alex Rider, the Sherlock Holmes novels House of Silk and Moriarty and the James Bond novel Trigger Mortis.
He has written over 40 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, and was awarded an OBE for his services to literature in January 2014.
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He sat down with Chad for a brief interview about what audiences can expect when Mindgame comes to town...
Well, the play has been all around the country and audiences seem to have been enjoying its mix of shocks, surprises and strange twists. It’s quite a violent thriller but it also has a sense of humour.
Where did the inspiration for Mindgame come from?
I’m interested in magic and illusion. I wanted to write a play that used the stage – and the theatre – in a different way. I also wanted to see if it was possible to completely bamboozle an audience with just three people.
There are plenty of twists and turns to keep audiences guessing – do you think it’s harder to convey a thriller on stage or in a book?
Writing a thriller for the stage is one of the hardest things in the world. You know you’re in a theatre. You know there are people acting on a stage. So how do you get past that? How do you suck an audience into this world?
The story is about a serial killer, are readers and audiences generally shocked, surprised or intrigued by the topic?
So far, audiences have been all three! Certainly, when you get to the interval you have to ask yourself what’s going to happen next. It feels as if the play has nowhere left to go. But then, in Act Two, everything begins to untwist itself…
Do you have a favourite character from Mindgame?
I’m afraid I like all three characters equally. It’s also worth adding (without giving too much away) that nothing is quite what it seems in Mindgame. Everything changes.
What’s the biggest challenge when writing a thriller?
The biggest challenge when writing a thriller is to thrill.
Of all of the books you’ve written, which is your favourite and why?
Stormbreaker, the ﬁrst Alex Rider adventure, is my favourite because it’s the book that changed my life. I’m also proud of my ﬁrst James Bond novel…which is an excuse for me to mention that I have very nearly ﬁnished the second!
When’s your favourite time to write? When does inspiration strike?
I write pretty much all day. I ﬁnd that I’m inspired all the time. I’m very lucky because I love writing, I’m not much good at anything else, and somehow I’ve managed to sustain a long career.
As well as plays and novels, you’ve also written for tv and are a journalist - what do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love walking my dog in Suffolk. I go to the theatre a lot. I enjoy ﬁlms, dinners, seeing my family and friends. Of course, I read a lot. I’m always travelling. I’d hate you to think that I spend my entire life sitting on my own in a room. It’s just a big chunk of it.
Mindgames runs from Tuesday June 11, to Saturday, June 15, at 7.30pm, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm.
Box office: 0115 989 5555