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David Hare Biography

(1947– ), Plenty, Knuckle, Teeth 'n'Smiles, Map of the World, The Secret Rapture

plays british theatre cambridge

British playwright, born in Bexhill, Sussex, educated at Cambridge University. He began writing plays for Portable Theatre, a touring company he co-founded in 1968. His subsequent work has primarily concentrated on aspects of British politics and society since the Second World War, a period he regards as characterized by opportunism, avarice, corruption, and the betrayal of the hopes of those who defeated Hitler. Perhaps the most outstanding of these is Plenty (1978), about Susan Trahern who returns from working as a secret agent in occupied France believing in a glowing future; it presents a striking portrait of a woman destroyed by nostalgia, an uncompromising spirit, and other flaws and virtues. Other principal plays in this vein are Knuckle (1974), a parody of the Mickey Spillane thriller, with financiers and entrepreneurs as villains; Teeth 'n'Smiles (1975), about a rebellious rock singer and her disintegrating band at a Cambridge ball; Map of the World (1982), in which representatives of left and right come into conflict at an international conference; The Secret Rapture (1988), a more intimate piece, about an illustrator exploited by her associates, among them her Tory MP sister; Racing Demon (1990), a picture of a divided and confused Church of England; Murmuring Judges (1991), which looks at the workings of the law and order system in Britain, finding it anachronistic and inept where it is not actually corrupt; and Absence of War (1993), which involves the machinations within the Labour Party during a losing General Election campaign and contains a rich portrait of an Opposition leader in some respects indebted to the defeated Neil Kinnock. Under the title ‘The Hare Trilogy’, the last three of these plays have been presented in tandem by the National Theatre, the same theatre that presented the more intimate Skylight (1995), about a businessman's attempt to regenerate a love affair with a much younger schoolteacher. Hare has also written two plays in collaboration with Howard Brenton: Brassneck (1973), about municipal corruption, and Pravda (1986), about the British press and the acquisition of newspapers by a right-wing entrepreneur. Like much of his and Brenton's solo work, these are stylistically innovative, combining epic sweep with cinematic jumps between often odd and unexpected locations. In addition to this, Hare has written some highly successful screenplays: on television, Licking Hitler (1978) and Dreams of Leaving (1980), the second of which he directed himself, as he did Saigon: Year of the Cat (1982), Wetherby (1985), and Strapless (1989) for the cinema.

R. M. Hare (Richard Mervyn Hare) Biography - (1919– ), (Richard Mervyn Hare), The Language of Morals, Freedom and Reason, Moral Thinking [next] [back] Cyril Hare, pseudonym of Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark Biography - (1900–58), pseudonym of Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark, Punch, Tenant for Death, Tragedy at Law

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