Writer and performer Eddie Elks on the inspiration behind Mugs’ Arrows

Mugs’ Arrows is a black comedy set in ordinary surroundings – a local Derbyshire pub.

Mugs’ Arrows is a black comedy set in ordinary surroundings – a local Derbyshire pub.

The play delves into a world that is on the change, exploring the depths of the human psyche –love, loss, friendship and darts, leading to hilarious and intriguing results...

Ahead of Mugs’ Arrows visit to Buxton next week, writer and performer Eddie Elks talked about the production:

How did you come up with the idea for the show?

I used to play a lot of darts with my grandad when I was young, he bought me my first dart board when I was seven. It was a great way to spend time together. I loved his brass darts with feather flights, the old darts phrases and the characters you’d see competing each year in the Embassy World Championship.

As I got older and became more interested in writing for theatre, I wondered if the actual game of darts could work on stage. I hoped the movement and liveliness (and potential danger!) of it would be good for the theatre – and it really seems to work.

The phrase “Mugs’ Arrows” was one of my favourite phrases and it stuck out as a good title. It means “Loser throws first.”

The piece is set in a Derbyshire pub - are you from this area?

I grew up in Derbyshire and have a huge attachment to the county. It’s the first area of proper wilderness in England that you come across heading north. The Derbyshire Dales and the Peak District, depending on the season and the weather have so many different faces, anything from homely to hostile.

I love the Derbyshire pubs. Both my grandads were Bass drinkers – something I’ve inherited! The local country pub is such an important place within a community and sadly a lot of them, for various reasons are gone, struggling or changing into very different places entirely.

I’ve taken inspiration from Derbyshire places, people and recent personal experiences and thrown them into the pot to see what would come out.

Why should people see the show?

People should come and see the show if they fancy 1hr, 20 minutes of funny, dry and intriguing entertainment. It’s not your average theatre piece – there are lots of surprises and laughs along the way. You may even see a bull’s-eye, depending on how our throwing is on the night!

Where have you toured Mugs’ Arrows, how are audiences responding to the piece?

We first performed it in Exeter at the Bike Shed Theatre and it then transferred to the Old Red Lion Theatre in London. The audience responses have been really positive, each night is very different but the laughs and gasps let us know that they’re listening!

Mugs’ Arrows will take place at Pavilion Arts Centre Studio on Monday, March 30 and Tuesday, March 31, at 7.30pm. Tickets £10. Contact 0845 127 2190 or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk