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Doug Lucie Biography

(1953– ), John Clare's Mad Nuncle, Hard Feelings, Progress, Fashion, Grace, Gaucho

British dramatist, born in Chessington, educated at Worcester College, Oxford. His first play, John Clare's Mad Nuncle (1975), was followed by subsequent works which have been widely admired for their sardonic portrayal of Britain in the 1980s, a place and period he sees as corrupt, acquisitive, and callous. Key plays include Hard Feelings (1982), about bright young Londoners not above harassing the Jewish lodger of the flat they share; Progress (1984), which primarily concerns the pretension of modern liberals, among them a consciousness-raising group of ‘non-sexist’ men; and Fashion (1987), about the world of advertising and, specifically, the cynical tycoon who hopes to remodel the image of the Conservative Party at the next election. With Grace (1993), however, the satiric attack switched to born-again religion as represented by an American ‘televangelist’ whose attempt to set up his European headquarters in an English mansion was, surprisingly for Lucie, seen as menacing a Britain which, though morally damaged by the ‘Thatcher years’, still embodied some traditional decencies. His more familiar cynicism reasserted itself in the melodramatic Gaucho (1994), about a decent man alienated enough by a malign British establishment to become a drugs smuggler, arms dealer, and international villain.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Earl Lovelace Biography to Madmen and Specialists