In About Stoppard, Jim Hunter charts the work of a leading living dramatist who has brought delight to the world's theatres for more than forty years. The book presents a series of new interviews, with Tom Stoppard himself and with the practitioners who put his work on stage, such as directors Peter Wood, Trevor Nunn and Richard Eyre, lighting and set designers, and actors Felicity Kendal, John Wood, Essie Davis, Stephen Dillane and Simon Russell Beale. There's also a wealth of digest material and an extensive introduction which places Stoppard's plays in context, making this volume an indispensable guide for anyone interested in the work of this sensational playwright.
The Absence of War offers a meditation on the classic problems of leadership, and is the third part of a critically acclaimed trilogy of plays (Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges) about British institutions.
Its unsparing portrait of a Labour Party torn between past principles and future prosperity, and of a deeply sympathetic leader doomed to failure, made the play hugely controversial and prophetic when it was first presented at the National Theatre, London, in 1993.
- he hadn't forgotten i was there - he just didn't care whether i was there or not - it would've been better him forgetting rather than not caring at all
Gerry and Iggy face the ends of their lives in a London hostel. As they drift from present concerns – the funeral of an old drinking partner, the relative sizes of their swollen livers, tube routes, street names, God and the lure of Belfast – to remembering ghosts from long ago, we catch a poignant glimpse of what might have been.
Owen McCafferty's The Absence of Women, heartrending and darkly comic in turn, premiered at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, in February 2010.
At the bar in the Acapulco Plaza Hotel, a group of film actors on location try to find ways of filling their time.
Developed from Berkoff’s experiences on the set of Rambo II, Acapulco offers a reflection on the nature of art and being an artist.
Acapulco premiered at the Odyssey Theatre, Los Angeles, in August 1990.
An actor speaks on the phone to his agents, his parents, and his fellow thespians, battling with rejection, expectation, disappointment and self-pity.
A short monologue which delves into the heart of the acting industry, Actor humorously and poignantly portrays the trying life of being a struggling artist.
Actor premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in January 1984.
Millie, a director, discusses with her actors, Ian and Tom, how to interpret two famous historical figures from the nineteenth century. It's 1831. The naturalist Charles Darwin is invited to travel with Robert Fitzroy into uncharted waters off the coast of South America aboard 'The Beagle'. Their five year journey is fraught with philosophical and personal tensions. Fitzroy, a staunch Christian, has faith in the unquestionable authority of the Bible; Darwin begins to explore a more radical vision, his theory of natural selection. A meditation on history and human relationships, After Darwin links past and present through these five characters, and raises timeless questions about faith, friendship and how we interpret the past.
After Darwin was first performed in July 1998, at Hampstead Theatre, London.
After Easter is not a political play, rather a psychological play – inevitably funny. It is a contemporary portrait of a woman who reaches that point in her life when she will either grow or fade, when she will either continue to live in her lesser personality or make that inner marriage which will allow her to enter the mainstream of her larger existence, and, hopefully, swim.
The exile, Greta, having turned away from everything that once could have been called her identity – including her religion – allows the ghosts to call her home to the north of Ireland and to her family. In doing so she finds herself confronting the identity that she has wilfully excluded for so long.
It's Virgie's eighty-fourth birthday and she is bucking convention. But, always more committed as an artist than a mother, Virgie has not reckoned on her family and friends' determination to thwart her plans.
A black comedy that reimagines the meaning of family, April De Angelis's After Electra premiered at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, in April 2015 before transferring to the Tricycle Theatre, London.
1920s Moscow, a small run-down café. Uncle Vanya's niece, Sonya Serebriakova, now in her forties, is the only customer. Until the arrival of Andrey Prozorov, the put-upon brother from Three Sisters.
Afterplay revisits the lives of two characters from Anton Chekhov's plays. It was first produced, with The Bear (also after Chekhov), at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in March 2002.
Handel's Messiah is the world's most popular choral work. But its story begins in the unlikely setting of a room above a pub in Chester, when the great composer, detained by bad weather on his way to a season of concerts in Dublin, invites some local choristers to rehearse excerpts. It is not a success. So begins Handel's struggle to stage the premiere of his masterpiece, confronted by seemingly insurmountable challenges, including the tricky librettist Charles Jennens, the actress Susannah Cibber who he trains to sing the most moving arias, and the mysterious Crazy Crow.
Nick Drake’s musical play All the Angels premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London, in June 2015.
Faber and Faber is one of the great independent publishing houses. The company was established in 1929 by Geoffrey Faber, who recruited T. S. Eliot to the firm that year. They set the precedent for more than eighty years of literary excellence. Faber’s celebrated reputation for contemporary drama was seeded in 1956, a year that saw the premiere of John Osborne’s theatrical bombshell Look Back in Anger and the publication of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Tom Stoppard joined the ranks in the sixties, and in the decades that followed many other brilliant dramatists have found their home here, including Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bennett, Brian Friel, David Hare, Frank McGuinness and Timberlake Wertenbaker. The legacy continues with an exciting list of younger playwrights. Faber believes that great plays make great literature. With a unique heritage, including plays by three Nobel Laureates, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and T. S. Eliot, and a thriving front list, the company remains a true pioneer of drama in the modern age.