Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton “definitely” interested in an Inside No. 9 stage play

The duo's theatre work was a key inspiration behind the anthology series.

Inside No 9 series 6 – Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton

Inside No. 9 creators Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton have expressed interest in bringing their anthology series to the stage at some point in the future.

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The darkly comedic series tells a different self-contained tale in each 30-minute episode, ranging from farcical heists to creepy ghost stories, all of which take place in just one location.

This format makes Inside No. 9 a natural fit for a theatrical version, as most existing scripts could be adapted for the stage with minimal changes. Or, of course, new stories could be written for a West End run.

Speaking at a BFI event to promote the launch of series six, Pemberton revealed that the duo are “definitely” interested in developing an Inside No. 9 live show, particularly as both he and Shearsmith began their careers on the stage.

“I think we definitely would want to explore the live version of Inside No. 9 because it’s so perfectly suited,” he said. “They are like mini plays when we write them. We are writing small plays and we were inspired by our theatre backgrounds.”

That is particularly true of series six, which opens with an episode that sees many of the actors wearing elaborate masks, in an homage to the traditional commedia dell’arte style of theatrical performance.

Of course, the theatre industry has been largely shut down since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but it is hoped that venues will be able to reopen their doors before the end of the year.

While the writing partners are interested in exploring this new avenue with their hit series, they are by no means intending to leave the television show behind anytime soon.

“In terms of an exit strategy for Inside No 9, we don’t really know,” Pemberton added. “As long as we feel that we have got the ideas and we can creatively challenge ourselves with each new series, then we’ll keep doing it. There’s no other show on TV where people can get to explore this range of different ideas and genres – not only as an actor, but as a writer.”

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Inside No. 9 returns to BBC Two on Monday 10th May at 9:30pm. You can read our Inside No. 9 ‘Wuthering Heist’ review here. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.