It was during the run of my very first professional show, The Two of Us, four one-acters in which Lynn Redgrave and Richard Briers played eleven characters between them. Five of those characters were in the final farce. One night I watched it from backstage, and as I saw Lynn and Richard running desperately from door to door, doing quick changes as they went, it seemed to me that this was at least as funny as what was going on round the front. It also struck me that the overwhelming obligation actors feel to make their next entrance on time, come what may backstage, was the archetype of the obligation we all feel to keep up our appearances in the world, despite all the difficulties of circumstance and the inherent waywardness of our nature. What would happen, I wondered, if the strictly ordered disorder of a farce onstage was overrun by the real disorder of the actors’ lives off…?