Writing ‘Love Thy Neighbour’

I wrote ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ in 2005.
Originally, I had intended the reason for Charlie’s visit to have been a fire at his house; and to make Claude an estate agent. But then I had one of those flashes of inspiration to make Claude a Garda and make Charlie the victim of a robbery. It all fitted perfectly after that and some of the scenes just practically wrote themselves after that. As Charlie’s character developed, it became obvious that he would have to be trying to scam the insurance company.
The incident of Claude’s hopelessness at football – mentioned by Michael – was actually something which happened to me at school. I was hopeless at football and always the last to be picked for a team. And I remember once being in front of the open goal with the ball at my feet – but I got so flustered, someone had kicked the ball away by the time I got my foot to it.
I know nothing about beauticians or beauty salons. So my research for ‘Ingrid’ consisted of standing in front of a beauty salon in Roscommon town and making a few notes. Oh, and I may have taken one or two beauty tips out of a column in a daily newspaper. It’s lucky Ingrid seemed to know what she was talking about, because I certainly didn’t.
In the first version of the play, Claude and Ingrid were known as the Bawles, but I later changed it to the Nolans.
The play was first staged in Clifden by the Fal Agus Foscadh Drama Group in November 2005. It has had ten productions since including one in Chicago..

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