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Peter Flannery Biography

(1951– ), Savage Amusement, Our Friends in the North, Singer, Blind Justice

British dramatist, born in Jarrow, educated at Manchester University. His first successful play, Savage Amusement (1978), involves the search for survival in the slums of a disintegrating Manchester at some unspecified date in the future, and his subsequent work has also been critically concerned with social and political subjects. This includes the epic Our Friends in the North (1982), about corruption in high places, and Singer (1989). The latter, generally regarded as Flannery's most impressive play, principally concerns a character, loosely based on the notorious Peter Rachman, who is incarcerated in Auschwitz, comes as a post-war refugee to Britain, and finds fortune and then disgrace as a slum landlord. But beyond this it is an ambitious attempt, written sometimes in realistic prose, sometimes in Shakespearian pastiche, to combine reflections on the Holocaust and the subject of revenge with satire both of the British upper class and of those who accumulated wealth and power under the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher. Flannery has also written drama for television, including the series Blind Justice.

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