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David Hare v the establishment: a memoir

August 22, 2015

David Hare made his name in the 1960s as a young, provocative playwright – on the left with a sense of humour. He recalls his early and controversial plays, from Slag to Plenty, his revelation about writing and what happened when Helen Mirren couldn’t sing

It’s hindsight that makes things look inevitable. I wanted to write a memoir to explain how purely life depends on chance. In the late 1960s, I was a director who, with Tony Bicât, had started a pioneering touring group, Portable theatre. On a Wednesday, a dramatist failed to deliver us a work which we were due to start rehearsing the following Monday. I was forced to step in and in four days write a miserable one-act satire on the absurdity of leftwing self-regard in screwed-up rightwing Britain. It was called How Brophy Made Good. On the road, the play failed consistently in many different environments, but somehow when we arrived at the most inspirational of all fringe theatres, the Brighton Combination, it seemed at last to find its audience. I was learning that one of the most surprising rewards of theatre is to marvel at how a play may gleam at a different angle according to where and when it’s presented. The thoughts and feelings with which the audience arrive are half the story.

As we were packing up the stage to go home, a very conspicuous young woman, with a boyish haircut, tall and beautiful in a long tweed coat, with a thick Scottish scarf and gloves, stayed on when everyone else had gone to tell me how much she had enjoyed the performance: it was a change to see something that made you laugh. Margaret Matheson had come down specially from London by train, because she had liked the sound of the play. She worked as a secretary, she said, for the well-known socialist agent Clive Goodwin, who, besides representing some of the most political dramatists of the day, was also one of the founders of the revolutionary newspaper the Black Dwarf. In late afternoons, she told me, sometimes while smoking a companionable joint, they would discuss expanding the client list which already included Fay Weldon, Dennis Potter and Simon Gray. Clive had encouraged Margaret to establish a list of her own. Trevor Griffiths had been her first signing. I was to be her second.

Goodwin had a spacious flat on the Cromwell Road, South Kensington, where he worked and lived and where the offices of the Black Dwarf had originally been. It was hung with sumptuous canvases by his wife, “the Wimbledon Bardot”, Pauline Boty, who had died three years before. She was already something of a legend, both as a beauty and as an artist, and was believed to be the model for Liz, the liberated woman wearing a suede coat and with swinging handbag played by Julie Christie in Billy Liar. Boty, who coined the best ever definition of pop art – she called it “nostalgia for now” – was the only radical feminist in that movement and, as such, way ahead of her time. Dressed in what looked like expensive velvet trousers by Yves Saint Laurent, the still-grieving widower Clive told me that it was a small miracle that somebody had arrived on the left with a sense of humour. How rare was that? He had, he said, sent my modest jape to Michael Codron, the West End’s most prominent straight-play producer. It was Codron who had staged Harold Pinter’s first work, The Birthday Party, in its famous eight-day outing at the Lyric Opera House, Hammersmith (now the Lyric Hammersmith). By return of post, Michael had written back – he would like to commission a full-length comedy from me. Did I have a subject? Clive asked. I certainly did, I replied. What was it? Feminism. Perfect, he said, rubbing his hands.

I did not consider myself a writer, let alone a potentially commercial one. My literary job for three days a week at the Royal Court on Sloane Square had inculcated in me the belief that being a dramatist was a serious calling. The house playwright was John Osborne, but the house god was Samuel Beckett. My short theatrical experience was of a free-fringe movement in which what mattered most was what you were saying. There was a directness about it which to us signified urgency. The Royal Court, on the other hand, with its close ties to a more mainstream aesthetic – Peggy Ashcroft and Laurence Olivier had both acted there – was far more concerned with the beauty of the saying.

I had written How Brophy Made Good in such a ridiculous 96-hour dash that you couldn’t even dignify what I did with the name of a process. This time, with the new play Slag, I intended to do things properly. The popularising book The Female Eunuch by my old friend Germaine Greer would not be published until six months after the premiere of my play. I had begun to conceive the idea of a comedy in which a feminist schoolteacher is trying to create a self-sustaining all-female community while at the same time losing the pupils. There would be jokes about schools, jokes about feminism and, best of all, running jokes about cineastes. Essentially what I would be doing was satirising separatism. I had experienced enough leftist movements to know that their self-defining notions of purity always led to disaster. This was what I aimed to point out.

I am not sure how quickly I apprehended what would turn out to be my most important discovery about playwriting: fundamentally, I had no control. Whatever the clarity of my intentions, the actual writing of Slag only glancingly resembled my original conception. It’s a cliche to say that while you’re writing a play the characters take over. They appropriate the action and head off in unforeseen directions. What would be both truer and more interesting to say is that it’s not only the characters: every line of dialogue, every exit and entry, every development of the story, every deliberate change of mood on the stage pleases or displeases the author for reasons they would be at a loss to explain. I could, if necessary, make the action more deft. I was perfectly capable of saying, “That scene’s working, but that one isn’t. That joke’s working, but that one isn’t.” But to the basic question “Why is the play the way it is?” I had no answer at all.

Codron thought that Slag was a little too bold to go directly into the West End. As Anthony Page later observed, the play is rather like a marijuana dream. If you abandon yourself to it, you will have a good time. The audience at the Hampstead Theatre Club, where it opened, did fortunately laugh, happy to have their socks charmed off by three talented players, Rosemary McHale, Marty Cruickshank and Diane Fletcher. The play turned out a copper-bottomed success. Having first of all pronounced it too bold, Codron now pronounced it too short, and said it could only transfer to the West End if it were paired with a short sex farce which was running at the Yvonne Arnaud theatre, Guildford. He took me and Margaret to watch some big-chested girls running round with their tops off, then drove us in his Rolls-Royce to eat in silence at the Esher Steakhouse on the way home. I couldn’t take any of it seriously. As far as I was concerned, whatever happened, everything was gain. In those days, success was tangible. You could eat it. The major Hollywood studios all had script editors in London, so I got taken out to seven expensive lunches at seven expensive restaurants by middle-aged Americans who just loved my play. They’d be interested in anything I wanted to do. They outdid each other in the magnificence of the settings in which they told me this. I went to the Connaught twice, without ever intending to write any of their films. The European head of United Artists even told me that he was ashamed of the James Bond films for which he was responsible, and asked if I could come up with one that was less “fascist”.

The following year, Slag was revived at the Royal Court. This time, the three actors, Lynn Redgrave, Barbara Ferris and Anna Massey, had an upbeat approach. The play was already proven. Their job, they said, was to make it sparkle. When Noël Coward came to see Anna in the play, we all lined up in the foyer to greet him afterwards, and he shook my hand. “Ah, the playwright,” Coward said, summing up the evening in a way with which I couldn’t disagree: “Five good scenes and one terrible one.”

Part of the charm of Chelsea was that it was full of unexpected people, especially American actors and directors who had come to escape the pitiful contraction of the Hollywood they had once loved. Sometimes there seemed to be more of them than us. If it was one of those days when you didn’t pass Ava Gardner coming down Sloane Avenue, then never mind, you’d still pass Lee Remick. One day, on my way to rehearsal through Eaton Square, my heart stopped when Henry Fonda loped by, his walk as distinctive as his radiant blue eyes. He was in blue jeans and a brown fringed suede jacket and clearly lost in thoughts of times and places miles away from SW3.

Then everything which had been easy suddenly became difficult. None of the directors at the Royal Court much liked the direction a lot of new writing was taking. They found any kind of confrontational art childish and immature. We thought Britain couldn’t go on as it was. They thought it could. So when I delivered my next play, The Great Exhibition, plotted around a Labour MP who takes to flashing on Clapham Common, it was immediately clear they had no wish to present it.

Normally it’s when a playwright is sitting in the auditorium that they overhear remarks that pierce them to the heart. At any of my plays, I can guarantee to be placed next to the person who is loudly enjoying things least. But in the case of The Great Exhibition, it was after an early preview as a couple were walking away from the theatre that I saw the woman put her arm round her partner’s waist and say, “I’m sorry, darling, that was my idea.” That remark summed up my experience, too. The Great Exhibition did well enough, the audience laughed, and after six weeks it was off. Fictions with central metaphors contain their own dangers. The metaphor tends to hang around, somehow squeezing the life out of the play, taking it nowhere. As in a bad production of The Seagull or The Wild Duck, my particular metaphor seemed over-obvious and obscure at the same time. The act of exhibitionism was meant to illuminate my view of recent Labour governments, prone to displaying but not doing. I certainly didn’t know enough about the Labour party to write well about it, but, in Pauline Kael’s words, “Such is the treacherous power of an artist, that sometimes even the worst ideas are made to work.”

In those days, my facile anger was as often burning against distant things as close. The lordly feelings of betrayal that inspired some of the satire in The Great Exhibition came from a growing conviction that everything that was collective and worthwhile about Britain was being shipped out to sea. When Raymond Williams had warned us, at the election of Wilson’s second administration in 1966, not to believe in Labour governments because they invariably let their supporters down, we students had dismissed him as a despairing old cynic. But now, six years later, watching the hard-won achievements of the immediate postwar period running away into the gutter, and a hapless Edward Heath government struggling to implant a makeshift culture of managerialism, I was faced with a much more difficult question. If social democracy could no longer deliver betterment, and yet revolutionary socialism was a dangerous illusion, then what exactly was it that I did believe in?

In such circumstances there was inevitably an apocalyptic strain in a lot of fringe theatre to which I was contributing. But whatever the contradictions of our politics, our artistic belief in the short life of collaboration was genuine and principled. In our view, the chief vice of the British theatre was its continuing insistence on clinging to institutions that had long outgrown their purpose.

Howard Brenton and I were both intrigued by an overripe local government scandal which was fighting Watergate for newspaper space as the leading story of the day. It was known as the Poulson affair. John Poulson, soon to be put on trial, was a corrupt civic architect who in the previous 15 years had developed a nationwide network of compliant civil servants. In return for cash, they had been willing to look favourably on his applications for lavish development contracts, such as the Aviemore ski centre. Poulson operated closely with the Newcastle city boss T Dan Smith, who had tried to create what he called the Brasilia of the north. From his initial eagerness to remove the genuine social evils of slum housing, Poulson had grown, step by step, into a full-scale criminal. He was proud of it and denied the charges: “I took on the world on its own terms and no one can deny I once had it in my fist,” he claimed.

But what struck Howard and me was how extraordinarily small that world was. There was something pathetically British, and therefore rather moving, about how local councillors, local authority officials, civil servants and even Westminster politicians were eager to sell out for so little. Some surrendered their independence and their futures for a weekend for two at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane. For others, it was £50. When he was released from prison in 1985, Smith was ready to draw a political moral which resonated with me at least: “Thatcherism … could reasonably be described as legalised Poulsonism. Contributions to Tory funds will be repaid by the handing over of public assets for private gain.”

John McGrath had suggested the name Brassneck for our tale of civic greed. Whether as one word or two, it meant “effrontery”. When the play opened, the board of the theatre weren’t too keen on an early scene which, thanks to a smuggled document we had obtained, accurately recreated the secret rituals of freemasonry, with everyone rolling up their trousers and talking gibberish about the Great Architect. They didn’t like it when the audience laughed. There were more than a few walkouts. And not everyone was convinced by a third act in which the Bagleys, the prototypical entrepreneurial family, move from construction into the ultimate capitalist product: heroin.
Hare’s Fanshen performed by the Joint Stock Theatre Company in 1975.

But you would have needed to be a very cold fish to resist the fizz of the play, its zest. It was brazen.

Brassneck had an infectious, strongly narrative drive as it set about portraying a family who crashed straight through the pieties of respectable British life. For once, public corruption was ripped into in public and with a will. The third act began with a recording of the Rolling Stones singing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, and I’ve rarely known a song create such a thrill of expectation. To this day, every time I hear that perfect opening couplet, “I saw her today at the reception / A glass of wine in her hand”, I have memories of the heady oxygenated kind of theatrical happiness that comes only when you know that a nail is being hit bang on the head.

My next play to open, Knuckle, was among other things, a loving pastiche of an American thriller: a tough-guy style used to tell a story set, with deliberate inappropriate-ness, in the British home counties. Rehearsals began on 31 December 1973 in a church hall basement next to St James’s, Piccadilly. The next day, Heath announced the three-day week. Portable theatre had been predicting social breakdown for years. To me it is quiescence that is unnatural, not protest. It still is. I find the sullen state of affairs 40 years later, in which everyone is resigned to put up with social injustice and do nothing about it far more spooky and unnatural than the roller-coaster days of the mid-1970s.

It was consoling, then, to open on a freezing Tuesday night at the Oxford Playhouse to a reasonably warm response. Later, when I understood a good deal more about directing, I would come to believe that any director’s first and most important responsibility is to explain to the audience what kind of play they are watching. When we see a fresh production of Hamlet, say, or Tartuffe, and we exclaim, “It’s as if I had never seen the play before”, that is because the director has somehow managed to mediate the experience, to relax the audience’s understanding to a point where they can open themselves up to everything the actors want them to see and hear. For myself, I was later to give up directing plays because I felt twice in succession I had failed to do this. The task for Michael Blakemore, Knuckle’s director, on this occasion was almost impossible. The text alternated between being violent and political, prosaic and poetic in a way which was almost impossible to control. If, as VS Naipaul says, “Plot is for those who already know the world; narrative is for those who want to discover it”, then clearly there was too much of one and too little of the other.

The unexpected bonus was that the Oxford audience relished the layer of thriller pastiche but also could see through to the underlying subject. In Knuckle, Curly’s father, Patrick Delafield, is a stockbroker, whose allegiance is to quiet, calm, respectability and order. Curly himself is an arms dealer, an unabashed market supplier, whose love is for making noise as much as for making money. He sees his father as a hypocrite, while his father sees him as a lout. It was clear at the first performance that the young audience were primed for this standoff. From their reaction, you knew some of them had lived it and were pleased to see it laid bare.

In the history books, it is Thatcher who is credited with or blamed for adjusting the country to a new, more ruthless kind of capitalism. It was Thatcher, they say, who blew away the claims of a previous generation of Tory grandees who, as a result of wartime experiences fighting side by side with men from working-class backgrounds, still cherished a more socially responsible kind of Conservatism grounded in notions of the common good. She called them “wets” and never missed an opportunity to say how little their consideration meant to her. But if this version of history is correct, it is very hard to see how by 1974, five years before Thatcher’s election to power, a casual dramatist had already written a play that turns on the very argument that would come to transform Conservatism. Thatcher may indeed have overseen the triumph of the unsparing new philosophy, but she was not its author. It had been simmering away for a long time.

In the West End, the play opened to a vituperative reception. Some time later, Irving Wardle of the Times admitted that he had not been able to take in Knuckle, the play, because he had been so angered by Knuckle, the event. He had admired Portable because it played at what he called “virgin addresses”. But the subsequent appearance of a play by someone of my age – just 26 – and my political views in the West End had brought back to him all the primal sense of betrayal he had felt as a young man when Osborne first inveighed against the establishment, and then, in Wardle’s view, was seen to join it. A rebellious dramatist would eventually stop rebelling and move to embrace the very things he or she had rebelled against. Wardle wasn’t going to fall for it. He was not willing to be pulled round that same track twice. But if that was indeed the grounds of his hostility, Wardle was right to recant. The coming few years would prove how wrong he had been.

When, recently, I have described to acquaintances how 40 years ago a group of white middle-class actors set out on the fringes of Chelsea to play Chinese peasants, they have smiled as though the whole idea were condescending and ridiculous. All I can say is, it did not seem so at the time. At that moment in England, what choice did we have? As Pauline Melville remarked, after two successful miners’ strikes and the uprising of the shipworkers led by Jimmy Reid on the Upper Clyde, the concerns of William Hinton’s book Fanshen seemed timely. Workers’ control was on the agenda. By doing a play about China, we were opening up a whole area of history of which the British knew little. When the Joint Stock dramatisation became, as it did, one of the best-remembered fringe productions of the 1970s, it was partly because the subject matter had been so original, but also because the acting and direction had an integrity which carried all before it.

Hinton did not hide his surprise that the play caught on. It was only because it was so widely noticed and gaining a significant audience that its tone began to bother him. Previous dramatic versions of the book, of whose existence I had never even heard, had disappeared without being widely seen. But now Kenneth Tynan and Shirley MacLaine, as unlikely a couple of producers as you could imagine, were asking to present the play off-Broadway. Hinton at once threatened to withdraw permission for the play to continue unless I agreed to radical changes. Alarmed, he had submitted my script both to his daughter, who was a Red Guard, and to the Chinese embassy in Washington for their approval. Not surprisingly, such consultations had resulted in Hinton insisting on 110 specific changes to my text. Often it was a question of terminology. The word “murdered” should not be used. The correct term is “executed”. You don’t “summon” people. It’s too commandist. A peasant would never say, “I hate China.” It was unimaginable.

As a Marxist and passionate believer in the Chinese revolution, Hinton had intended his account to be a ringing endorsement of land reform. As a non-Marxist, I had consid-erable reservations. I had aimed instead to write a classic play that opposed two points of view. I believed that in any society there will always be one political faction in govern-ment that will lay stress on the importance of production. They will argue that encouraging people to produce is the key to the good society. But another opposing faction will want to put more urgent stress on the fair distribution of that production. They will insist that no society can be good unless it is also just. Interestingly, when Fanshen was revived by the National Theatre in 1988 after nine years of the Thatcher ascendancy, it did not seem remotely dated. Rather, it seemed more pressing than ever.

As my work reached a larger public, I would grow used to the pressures for censorship, offered for the most exemplary reasons. When people tell you they value political art, what they often mean is that they enjoy political propaganda which corroborates what they already think. All kinds of groups, including socialists and feminists, would ask me to reconfigure work in order to show what ought to happen rather than what does. I grew used to having to argue to the literal-minded that drama is not and cannot be a cartoon form of exhortation. It is about people, it is not about types.

Shakespeare did not intend Macbeth to be an indictment of Scottish monarchy. Nor is the characterisation of Lady Macbeth misogynist. The idiotic language of role models would take hold and grow like a creeper to try to stifle the life out of art and reduce it to sociology. With that rising tide of programmatic wordsoup which would threaten the vigour and authenticity of theatre in the new century, I would have no patience. Work, when fully achieved, seemed to me a more powerful manifesto than manifestos.

In my rock play Teeth’n’Smiles, the central character, Maggie, is fond of a drink, and is also in a state of violent revulsion at what she sees her world becoming. As she keeps intoning satirically, “The acid dream is over, let’s have a good time.” But there is a purpose to her antics. Under the ragged surface of chaotic abuse, her ex-boyfriend, the lyricist Arthur, can detect a certain iron control. For the role of Maggie, my casting director Patsy Pollock and I therefore needed an actor who was too intelligent to buy into the newspaper myth of self-destruction. She had to be able to scare the living daylights out of every man she met, but also to amaze them with her acumen. There was only one candidate. But the problem we had was that Helen Mirren couldn’t sing.

But she was such a good actor that, standing in front of a flatout rock band and fixing you firmly in the eye, she could make you believe she could sing by the mesmerising power of her presence, even though the actual notes she was hitting were occasionally John o’Groats to the tune’s Land’s End.

After the first preview, Nick Wright made me laugh when he told me he had greeted a famous novelist coming out of the theatre aghast. When he had asked her whether she had enjoyed the evening, she had replied, “Oh no, not at all. It was horrible. It was all sex and jokes and rock and roll.” As Nick said, to his ears, it sounded like the recipe for a perfect evening.

Just before the play’s press night, Patsy Pollock went down the King’s Road to visit Sex, the clothes shop just renamed by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. The slogan in its window read “Rubberwear for the Office”. Patsy came back with a hot-off-the-press punk T-shirt, lemon-yellow, ripped right down the middle and scrawled with thick black handwriting, as my first-night present. On one side: “Things We Like”. On the other: “Things We Don’t”. It seemed appropriate. When you see Teeth’n’Smiles today in revival, it seems far more punk than hippy, catching the particular moment at which musical joy turned to musical fury.

From its first preview in April 1978 at the National Theatre it was clear that a section of the audience would never accept Plenty, my attempt to reflect British history in the life of a single woman, Susan Traherne, who had fought with the Special Operations Executive. We had never imagined how personally parts of a British audience were going to take the play’s analysis. You could feel that the public were at war the moment the play began. Lindsay Duncan’s hilarious performance as Dorcas, a girl too boneheaded to realise the moral implications of termination, had had us all in stitches in the rehearsal room. But when she walked out into the Lyttelton she was received in appalled silence. Depressingly, during the West End revival 20 years later with Cate Blanchett playing the part originally taken by Kate Nelligan, there were men as loudly offended by the scene in which Susan uses a man to get herself pregnant as they were in the late 1970s. But less obviously sexist objections to Plenty centred on the feeling that the play was moralistic, the work of a man who believed himself superior to other people. Perhaps in the first production Kate and I, both gung-ho for Traherne and her indictment of postwar Britain, did press her case a little too hard. On occasions the production became overly strident. Our shared anger showed through to a degree that alienated those who were not on Susan’s side. Balanced properly, Plenty is a play that presents as equally costly all choices in a society that is institutionally hypocritical. Yes, you will suffer if you accept society’s hypocrisies and endure them without complaint. But you may well suffer an even higher price, as Susan does, for spending life in permanent dissent.

Peter Hall, like me, was dismissive of people who, as a way of rejecting the play, were already muttering that Susan Traherne was “unlikable”. What did it mean? As Peter said, audiences pretended to be shocked by behaviour on stage which was frequently nowhere near as bad as their own. A cheerful double standard obtained. Adultery and deceit were greeted with frowns of disapproval by people who themselves were strangers to neither in real life. And if Susan was formidable, so what? So was Hedda Gabler. So was Medea. Were they “likable”? Why were men so frightened of a strong woman?

Yes, I had always been convinced that the stage of the National Theatre would be the ideal place from which to address the nation. But what if the nation, or that section of it which patronised the National Theatre, was determined not to listen? How on earth had I imagined that Plenty would be welcomed by the very people it was about? The disconnection appeared complete. When Susan launched into her unsparing satire about the national shame of Suez, you could feel some spectators wanting to get up from their seats and wring her neck. When the smoothie British diplomat Charleson argued the importance at all times of good manners over truthfulness, you could feel a moment’s widespread relief that there was one person in the play who talked sense. Peter’s horror at the atmosphere of the evening resulted in him ordering that the schedule of names for complimentary first-night tickets be comprehensively redrawn. No author or actor in future would have to endure the resentful crowd of political fixers who felt entitled to attend because they had long ago contributed a word of support to the building of the theatre. But for Plenty the cleansing of the establishment list came too late, and on that first night I walked away from the theatre furious and disbelieving.

I spent the following year abroad so when I returned to Britain in that fateful early summer of 1979, the election of a hardline prime minister appeared at first to be just one more twist in our continuing island story. Nothing had prepared us for quotations from St Francis on the steps of Downing Street – “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony” – being offered straight to camera as a ruling-class piss-take. The effrontery was new. But the change of tone did not alert me, or indeed anyone else I knew, to the first shudders of a hairpin reversal that would last for at least 35 years. Of all the things that might happen, we had least foreseen that capitalism might have the ability to renew itself from within, kicking up a gear by freeing up markets and tearing up workers’ rights. It had been ingrained in every aspect and in all the evidence of my upbringing that the gains made in the 1940s towards free education, free health and decent standards of welfare were permanent gains, lasting standards of improvement, the majority of the people finally imposing themselves on the minority.

There was no other way in which history made sense. People had fought for exactly this and returned from war to secure it. Like so many socialists of my age, I had insufficiently appreciated the values of the welfare state because all I had been able to see were its shortcomings. Many of us in our nightmares had imagined violence, the seizure of the country at the end of a gun by plutocrats or the military. But for those of us who were committed to believing in the essential wisdom of electorates, the idea of the country agreeing to hand itself back to the laissez-faire barbarism of the years before the war was unimaginable. Aiming to encourage industry and hard work, Thatcher was shocked at the end, according to Michael Portillo at least, to discover that she had encouraged only selfishness. Even she was forced to accept that the effects of her philosophy were wildly at odds with its intentions. As one wise commentator put it, committed to making a country in her father’s image, she succeeded only in making it in her son’s. Up till now, for those of us born in 1947, the direction of travel, however erratic, had been towards social justice and equality. From this point on, it would be a retreat.

As the 1980s arrived, I had, for the first time, no plans for new initiatives or new structures. I had already played a part in founding two companies, Portable and Joint Stock, which had made waves in the small world of the theatre. But now I wanted to try and write plays that might reach out beyond that world. I had concluded that it was the most radical thing I could do.

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• The Blue Touch Paper by David Hare is published by Faber, priced £20. To order a copy for £16, go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min. p&p of £1.99.

Guardian link.

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