Den of Thieves – Director Interview

Duncan Moore – Den of Thieves director

How did you hear about KDC?
It was back in January 2000, when I first heard about KDC. I had moved to London four months earlier. Having celebrated New Year’s Eve alongside the Thames as the year 2000 was welcomed in, I felt ready to embrace London fully and get back into acting and directing (having not done any theatre since moving to the capital). I mentioned this plan to an old uni friend, and she told me that she was going to an audition that very evening for KDC’s production of Our Country’s Good. I went, got cast and have stayed ever since.

What have you done with us so far?
KDC has given me the opportunity to get involved in many different roles, both on and off stage. I’ve acted in a number of plays, playing roles ranging from a shorts-wearing, recorder-playing 7-year-old boy in The Physicists, to Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Offstage, I have designed lighting and sound for a number of plays, and I have directed over 10 shows for KDC, including Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Ben Elton’s Popcorn, Dracula (adapted by Liz Lochhead), Miller’s The Crucible, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet, and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis, the writer of Den of Thieves.

Why Den of Thieves?
The last play I directed for KDC was Romeo and Juliet in November 2015. My brief for that show from KDC was to put on a big extravaganza to end the year. I loved directing that play, and I loved playing with the comedy that Shakespeare had written into one of his most famous tragedies. Once that play was over, I knew for my next show I wanted to do something on a totally different scale, that was filled with more comedy. Den of Thieves is the result.

In addition, Den of Thieves is an early play by one of my favourite writers, Stephen Adly Guirgis. Adly Guirgis writes deep, interesting, conflicted, troubled characters and puts them into hilarious situations and lets the fireworks and laughs explode. He writes plays that are a director’s dream, an actor’s dream and an audience’s dream.

What should we expect from the play itself?
A play that is filled with comedy, heart and drama. Den of Thieves is one of Adly Guirgis’s earliest plays. Since writing it, his subsequent shows have been played all round the world, including at the National Theatre in London, and his most recent play won the Pulitzer in 2015. Den of Thieves captures that moment when a writer is learning their craft but, at the same time, when they have no fear. The play is fast-paced, full-on and a lot of fun as recovering thieves (who are in a 12-Step Program to stop them stealing) get talked into one last job.

Anything else that would like to add? Embarrassing fact about yourself, or a KDC experience you’d like to share.
Through KDC, I got to play a getaway driver on Crimewatch Daily. I spent the morning speeding away from the curb in four different cars. I also had to explain myself to the actual police, who hadn’t seen the tv cameras, and thought they had ‘caught me in the act’ speeding.