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Four things you didn't know about Sir David Hare

  • Published at 02:54 pm November 13th, 2017
  • Last updated at 03:09 pm November 13th, 2017
Four things you didn't know about Sir David Hare
Four things you didn't know about Hare

David Hare is deeply political

Some of Hare's most well-known plays deal with issues that affect modern society. His trilogy about contemporary Britain includes Racing Demon, whichtalks about gay ordination and evangelism in the Church of England, Murmuring Judges, a scathing attack of the British legal system and The Absence of War, which follows the Labour leadership's unsuccessful 1992 elections campaign. Stuff Happens and Vertical Hours are both anti-war plays as well. Hare has also been open about his hatred for Donald Trump, which led to his scripting of the critically acclaimed film Denial about a Holocaust denier. In an interview to the Evening Standard, Hare said “it's a non-evidence-based approach to politics, what you might called Trumpery. It's terribly dangerous. Occasionally, it is necessary to remind people that there are facts, there is scientific evidence and there is such a thing as proof.”

Sir David does not approve of theatrics

In a book by award-winning playwright and theatre historian Jeffrey Sweet titled What Playwrights Talk About When They Talk About Writing, David Hare spoke of his disdain for “theatre makers” who are “coming in and doing director’s theatre where you camp up classic plays and you cut them and you prune them around.” He has often criticised the new age tendency to over-aestheticise plays, and has stressed the danger of the classical repertory of the likes of Ibsen, Gorky, Strindberg and Schiller, disappearing from the public eye. Perhaps his views are best represented in the play Amy's View, which revolves around a running argument about the respective virtues of traditional theatre and the media art.

Hare is passionate about Chekhov

Hare is so passionate about Anton Chekhov that he adapted three of his works to run at the same time in 2016 – Ivanov, Pavlov and The Seagull. However, he has professed to love Chekhov's earlier works more than his later ones, writing “the young plays are richly enjoyable because they are romantic.” He has also written of how it seems like Chekhov himself is present in his earlier works - “that's the kind of art I love: art in which there's something at risk for the writer. I'm not so admiring of art that fakes divinity.”

His play was staged in Bangladesh

Vertical Hours is an anti-war play that questions the morality of international intervention in the wake of the Iraq War, as well as a study on conflicting personalities and the relationships they find themselves in. Adapted for the Bangladeshi stage as Pralambita Prahar by Abdus Selim, the Bangla play was directed by Irine Parvin Lopa and starred Ataur Rahman, Mita Chowdhury and Noor Zaman Raja, among others. It ran at the Shilpakala Academy in February 2016.

Spotlight: celebrity collaborations

• His first play to be staged at the National Theatre (Plenty) won critical acclaim, and he went on to adapt it into a film starring Meryl Streep in 1985. In 2002, Meryl Streep once again starred in one of Hare's screenplays – The Hours - which earned him an Oscar nomination. • David Hare was at the helm of The Worricker Trilogy, writing and directing the three BBC political thrillers that starred Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Tom Hughes, Ralph Fiennes and Judy Davis. • His latest venture is the BBC two thriller Collateral starring Carey Mulligan, John Simm, Nicola Walker and Billie Piper. Co-produced by Netflix and the Forge, you can expect it to hit TV screens very soon.
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