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Michael Hastings (Michael Gerald Hastings) Biography

(1938– ), (Michael Gerald Hastings), Tom and Viv, Three Plays, Gloo Joo, For the West (Uganda)

plays london british carnival

British playwright and novelist, born in Lambeth, London, and brought up in Brixton; he was educated at Alleyn's School. He subsequently trained as an actor and writer at the Royal Court Theatre in London where many of his plays were produced. His interest in the dramatic presentation of biography is best displayed in Tom and Viv (1984), a haunting study of T. S. Eliot's marriage to his first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood. Three Plays (1980) contains: Gloo Joo (1978), an acerbic comedy of Caribbean manners; For the West (Uganda) (1977), about Ugandan dictator Idi Amin; and Full Frontal (1979), a monologue by a West Indian. His other plays include Lee Harvey Oswald (1966), published in Three Political Plays (1990); and Carnival War/Midnite at the Starlite (1981), which contains a powerful examination of the annual Notting Hill Carnival, in London, and a sardonic account of competitive ballroom dancing. The Emperor (1987) was an adaptation by Hastings and Jonathan Miller of Ryszard Kapuscinski's book about the fall of Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia. Unfinished Business (1994) depicts support for Hitler among the British upper classes. Hastings has also written several novels, and biographies of Rupert Brooke (1967) and Sir Richard Burton (1978).

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