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John Spurling Biography

(1936– ), MacRune's Guevara, In the Heart of the British Museum, Shades of Heathcliff

british radio plays critic

British dramatist, born in Kisumu, Kenya, educated at Oxford University, after which he worked as a plebiscite officer in the Cameroons, a BBC radio announcer, and a freelance radio and book critic. The National Theatre's production of his MacRune's Guevara (1969), which sceptically examines disparate attitudes to the guerrilla and folk hero, was followed by other plays notable for their intellectual curiosity, their diversity of cultural and political interests, and their feeling for contradiction and complexity, prime among them In the Heart of the British Museum (1971), Shades of Heathcliff (1971), On a Clear Day You Can See Marlowe (1974), Antigone through the Looking Glass (1979), The British Empire Part One (1980), and Coming Ashore in Guadeloupe (1982). Spurling, who was the New Statesman's art critic from 1976 to 1988, has also written radio and television plays and a novel, The Ragged End (1989).

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over 8 years ago

I was in the original cast of "On a Clear Day You can see Marlowe" in 1974, playing a variety of parts. It was a Major Road Theatre Company production which toured nationally for about a year. Other cast included Jane Edwardes (now a noted Time Out theatre critic) and Carol Fraser. It was directed by Graham Devlin. Marlowe was played by Robin Murphey.