By and with Ben Duke (Lost Dog)
Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me) is based on Milton’s epic poem.
“The initial thought, to create a one-man version of Paradise Lost, seemed like a ridiculous idea. It is hard to know with ridiculous ideas whether they should be immediately dismissed or allowed to become obsessions. This one turned into an obsession mainly because whenever I mentioned the idea to people they would assume I was joking.
If I’m honest when I first read Paradise Lost at 19 I imagined that by the time I was 40 I’d have created a multi million pound film version of it. Now my ambitions are more modest but still as unrealistic. What I am trying to do is impossible. So the piece is inevitably about failing, but it is also about the act of creation: God’s, Milton’s, mine.
I think Paradise Lost will carry on meaning different things to me at different times of my life and that is what is great about it. At this moment in my life it speaks to me about parents and children. I was always one and now I am both and that has doubled the relevance of the poem to my life and made me want to put it, well my version of it, on stage.”
Ben Duke, May 2015