Questions to MacIntyre Dixon, actor.
When did your wife write this play and do you remember what inspired her to write it?
She wrote the play in 1970 and it was inspired, I think, by a chapter in “The Brothers Karamazov” when the devil visits Ivan on the eve of Dimitri’s trial. I think she was also influenced by a story of Camus’. She was also influenced by the issue of terrorism in the world, which did not quite have the impact on as at the time, that it does now. Although she was concerned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and what drove some to those acts.
What do you like most about it?
I love the humor, and the character of the devil. I love the ideas so beautifully expressed in it about the human condition.
Have you ever played the Devil before or is this a first? Do you find the role challenging?
No, never played the devil in any other play or film. The closest was playing Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde in a TV commercial. Yes it is challenging because he goes through so many phases in this play, and it is a challenge to make them all believable and interesting. And he does talk a lot, and that is a challenge, too.
The Devil has been represented many times throughout literature, what do you find interesting with the devil that’s represented in this play? In what ways do you identify with him?
Again I find the humor and playfulness interesting. He is not malicious as you might expect the devil to be, but rather kind hearted and compassionate. He is mysterious too, because you cannot always put a handle or label on him or what he is doing or saying.
I identify with his vulnerability. And perhaps his need to communicate and to have his point of view recognized and understood. His humor and perhaps his “naughtiness” One of the principle things I love about acting is being able to express on stage whatcan’t express in life. The devil allows me to do this a lot.
Can the Devil ever change? Does he want to change?
This is the devil’s dilemma. He wants desperately to be able to change, and he can’t.This is tragedy. And so one of the things he wants desperately to communicate is that we have the gift of being able to change. He wants us to know that and appreciate that.
Is it the first time you will be on stage with your son Colin Pip Dixon? How is it being involved in a family project?
We have been on stage in a reading of one of Saunra’s other plays. Also I had the privilege of being the narrator with him on violin in one of his works: “The Tchekov Triptych”
And his musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Happy Prince.”. But this will be the first major acting we will do together.
Family projects can be hard sometimes, but working with Colin is very rewarding because of his selfless commitment and his great wisdom in dealing with everything.
Will it be your first time at the Fringe? Is there anything in particular that you are looking forward to seeing (again) there?
We happened to be in Edinburgh many years ago when Colin was little. We didn’t get to see anything there then, but we found it fascinating and exciting to be in that atmosphere, and I personally thought what fun and how great it would be to be a part of it. So you can see my excitement at this opportunity.