Philip Ridley is one of the most imaginative and sensational playwrights working in Britain today. Born in 1964, he began by studying painting at St Martin's School of Art in London and wrote the highly acclaimed screenplay for The Krays (1990). He made his theatre debut at the Bush Theatre in 1991 with The Pitchfork Disney. Since then, other plays have included The Fastest Clock in the Universe (Hampstead, 1992), Ghost from a Perfect Place (Hampstead, 1994), Vincent River (Hampstead, 2000; Trafalgar Studios, 2007), and the highly controversial Mercury Fur (Paines Plough/Plymouth, 2005). This was followed by Leaves of Glass (Soho, 2007) and Piranah Heights (Soho, 2008). He's also written five plays for young people and many books for children, as well as directing two films from his own screenplays, The Reflecting Skin (1990) and The Passion of Darkly Noon (1995). Ridley continues to divide opinion: depending on your point of view, he's either Britain's sickest playwright or a singular, prolific, and amazingly visionary genius. What follows is an edited transcript of Aleks Sierz talking to Philip Ridley in one of the ‘Theatre Conversations’ series at Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, University of London, on 25 October 2007. Aleks Sierz, a Contributing Editor of NTQ, is theatre critic of Tribune and author of the seminal study In-Yer-Face Theatre (Faber, 2001).