Writer/Director Ollie Maddigan was born in London and grew up here until he was six when he moved to Oxfordshire. Sadly, his mum died suddenly when he was fourteen, creating much upheaval in Ollie’s young life, writes Michael Holland…
The young Ollie was always interested in writing and performing. He says that his mum was always ill during his formative years, growing up in a low-income household, so his imagination was the only form of entertainment he had. He performed in many school and local stage productions and had hopes of attending a drama school. But then his mum died, an event that meant Ollie had to move to Bermondsey to live with a relative and where he attended Bacon’s College.
Using the traumatic event to make positive changes, Ollie developed his love for theatre in a GCSE Drama course which led to him getting a place at BRIT School, where he achieved a distinction.
While there he performed in many shows and played the lead Troilus in Troilus and Cressida, but on graduating he turned to writing and directing, and took his influences from Martin McDonagh, Phoebe Waller Bridge, and Ricky Gervais. This young man had future plans to continue learning his craft and to create a charity for drama therapy, where he can work with children who have experienced abuse, PTSD and other mental health problems that are close to his heart.
And now, his first professional show as writer and director is Olives and Blowjobs, which has already received critical acclaim from its short run at the Camden Fringe Festival, and has been brought back for a second run at the Hope Theatre.
Olives and Blowjobs chronicles the tragic and comedic memories from Ollie’s life. The play tells of a 15-year-old boy who just wishes he could be a man. After the sudden death of his mother, he is forced to change schools and move in with his, until that point, absent father who he knows little about. In a hopeless attempt to stay sane, he decides that the only way to move forward is to try and pursue the chances of him finally getting a real girlfriend. Like most things in his life, it does not go to plan.
Maddigan said “I am thrilled to be asked back to perform my show and that my initial performances received such excellent reviews. This work is deeply personal for me, and I am delighted the audience were able to both cry and laugh along with me.”
Hope Theatre, 207 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 1RL from 28th September – 9th October. Tues – Sat 7pm. Admission: £15, £12.