An Interview with Kieran Lynn

Playwright Kieran Lynn was kind enough to grant us an interview to give our audience some insight into his work. Find out what he had to say below.

Despite its light-hearted tone, An Incident at the Border addresses some very real and scary issues that we currently face. Were you motivated to write the play by a single real-world moment or incident?


No I wasn't, although I had spent some time in Eastern Europe, and so the drawing and re-drawing of borders around there was probably what first caught my eye. Although when I started to do a little research, and even since I wrote the play, I've been surprised by how prevalent this issue is worldwide.


All three characters are very recognisable and indeed relatable. Are they based on people you know and do you have a favourite?


They weren't based directly on real people, although it's very possible that I took things from people I know without knowing I was taking them. In terms of a favourite, I've never really thought about it, there are parts of all of them that I like and that I dislike. My favourite quality is determination, which I think is best presented in Olivia, so I will say her for now. 



Reiver and Arthur both have a slightly child-like relationship with the weapons they are issued, and the idea of warfare in general. Is the world's increasingly casual relationship with violence something that concerns you and your writing?


I think it concerns me more as a person than as a writer. Violence is not something that I deal with particularly often in my work, though obviously it is a large part of contemporary life. My hope is that this play is far removed from every day life, and that decisions to use violence or war are taken with far more sincerity than any of the characters in this play are capable of. That doesn't always seem to be the case though!


All three characters offer a different representation of ways in which young people especially engage with politics. Given that it's an election year, would you say you think it is important to 'be involved'?


In general, I think it is probably more important to be informed than involved. Direct involvement is admirable, but for most of us it just isn't something we're prepared to do, but being informed is very important, especially in an election year. There are going to be a lot of promises made and big words spoken over the next few months, and I think it is important not to get swept up in the rhetoric, but rather to examine the past histories of each candidate and see how they behave when they're not trying to win your vote. 


Many thanks to Kieran for granting us this interview. The interview was conducted via email by Lauren Donoghue in April 2015.


Kieran has been a member of the Royal Court Young Writers programme, the Playwrights Studio Scotland mentoring programme and the BBC Sparks Residential Course. Other plays include the Recurring Rise and Fall, An Advert for the Army, A Volunteer from the Audience, Pushing Up Poppies and Bunnies.