Stephen Beresford

Plays by Stephen Beresford

The Last of the Haussmans

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Stephen Beresford's The Last of the Haussmans is a play about a family in terminal decline that looks at the legacy of the Baby Boomers generation. It was first performed in the Lyttelton auditorium of the National Theatre, London, on 19 June 2012 (previews from 12 June).

The play is set in and around the Haussman family home, a 1930s art deco property on the South Devon coast, now in a state of virtual dereliction. Judy Haussman, an incorrigible hippy – still anarchic and feisty, but growing old – holds court in outrageous fashion. After an operation, she’s joined by her resentful daughter, Libby, and younger gay son, Nick, an ex-junkie. Also there is Judy's sharp-eyed granddaughter, Summer; a local doctor, Peter; and a troubled teenager, Daniel, who makes use of the family’s crumbling swimming pool. Over a few sweltering months they alternately cling to and flee a chaotic world of all-day drinking, infatuations, long-held resentments, free love and failure.

The National Theatre premiere was directed by Howard Davies and designed by Vicki Mortimer, with Julie Walters as Judy, Helen McCrory as Libby, Rory Kinnear as Nick, Isabella Laughland as Summer, Taron Egerton as Daniel and Matthew Marsh as Peter.

Stephen Beresford trained at RADA and worked as an actor before writing for television and film. His debut play, The Last of the Haussmans, premiered at the National Theatre in 2012 and featured Julie Walters, Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory in the lead roles. The play was also live screened as part of NT Live in 2012. Film work includes Pride (Calamity/BBC/Proud Films & Pathé, 2014).

As an actor, theatre credits include Free, She Stoops to Conquer, A Laughing Matter (National Theatre); Woyzeck (Gate Theatre, directed by Sarah Kane); Shopping and Fucking and Our Country’s Good (Out of Joint, directed by Max Stafford-Clark).