Richard Osman says his brother Mat’s novel is ‘a work of absolute genuine genius’

Virgin Radio

27 Mar 2024, 12:27

Credit: Virgin Radio / Bloomsbury

Suede’s Mat Osman visited Virgin Radio to talk about his second novel, and he brought his brother Richard with him!

Mat’s novel, The Ghost Theatre, came out last year and is released in paperback tomorrow. Joining the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar, his TV presenter and fellow author brother said: “It's so brilliant. The writing is extraordinary. It’s so lyrical, it’s about Shakespearean London. There’s sorts of chase sequences, all sorts of stuff going on. The writing is so beautiful, but you have to keep turning the pages. I think it's a work of absolute genuine genius.

“All the way through, you're taken into a world, you feel like you are in Elizabethan London. You’ve got these incredible characters, you've got these incredible ideas.

“And you're immersed completely in this world and in these characters. And the way he describes the sights and the sounds and the smells of a place, it transports you.”

The paperback features a new factual chapter, which showcases the inspiration for the story. Speaking about the narrative, Matt said: “It's about two child actors in Elizabethan London, which was a big thing. The most famous people in Elizabethan London who weren't royal were actors. Everyone went to the theatre, it was a huge thing. And the poshest, the most interesting theatres had child actors from about eight to about 14. 

“I was fascinated by these kids who were incredibly famous, but basically slaves. They were bought and sold.”

He added: “It's the story of two child actors who fall in love and create this kind of punk theatre troupe that ferments rebellion in the streets of London.”

Mat is the bassist and one of the founding members of Suede, and the book is his second novel. “I don't know why I didn't do it earlier, because I spend so much of my life in hotel rooms and planes and buses and stuff,” he said. “And nowadays, all I do is write, that's what I do.”

He added: “I wish I'd started 20 years ago.”

When Chris asked why Richard had come into the studio with Mat, he replied: “Do you know what? I have no idea! But I'm delighted to be here, mainly as a cheerleader for a book that I absolutely adore, which I hope everyone will go and buy."

House of Games host Richard did however, tell listeners: “I've got the new book coming out, which is not a Thursday Murder Club book. That'll be out in September. But then I'll be back to the Thursday Murder Club after that, but we've got the Thursday Murder Club film shooting in the summer.”

Read what the brothers had to say about their childhood here.

The Ghost Theatre is out in paperback tomorrow (28th March).

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with webuyanycar weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.