DAVID HARE, 56
Shock factor Well known for his 'theatrical government-baiting', his new play, The Permanent Way, a metaphor for his disillusionment with New Labour, is bound to cause controversy. It's currently touring the UK
Finest hour Nicole Kidman sizzling in The Blue Room; and when The Hours, for which he wrote the screenplay, picked up a handful of Oscars earlier this year
Biography Discovered his writing talent when he was forced to come up with 'a silly political satire' for his Portable Theatre Company. Lives with his second wife, Nicole Farhi; has three children from first marriage to Margaret Matherson
Likes/ Dislikes Likes: meeting famous people - 'At the last election I kept wanting to screech, "Ooh look, there's Gordon Brown!"' Dislikes: boxing.
'It's exciting, but in an awful way'
Says 'All playwrights are pretentious, aren't they? I've met very few who aren't, it's just that some are better at concealing it than others'
JOANNA LAURENS, 25
Shock factor Her uncompromising use of language: 'I trail her name like a comforter, HanselGretel-bread to find my way back,' from The Three Birds, is one example
Finest hour Aged just 20, she won a Critics' Circle award for most outstanding new talent for The Three Birds
Biography While in her second year at Queen's University, Belfast, The Three Birds was snapped up by the Gate Theatre; her second play, Five Gold Rings, starring Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory, is on at The Almeida; and she is currently writing for the RSC
Likes/ Dislikes Likes: music - she originally trained to play the French horn at Guildhall School of Music. …