Hare, Sir David

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Hare, Sir David

Sir David Hare, 1947–, British playwright. Hare is a prominent member of the British theatrical left. A founder of the Portable Theatre and the Joint Stock, he became resident dramatist and literary manager of the Royal Court Theatre, London (1967–71), and at the Nottingham Playhouse (1973). His plays are personal dramas, often presented in a historical context. Among the best of his early works is Teeth 'n' Smiles (1975), a satirical commentary on the state of modern British society. He achieved wide critical and popular acclaim with Plenty (1978), a dramatic tour-de-force for its female star, which deals with disillusionment in post–World War II Britain. Pravda (1985), a satire on journalism, was written with his sometime collaborator Howard Brenton. The 1998–99 Broadway season marked a peak in Hare's success, featuring productions of The Judas Kiss,The Blue Room, and Amy's View, as well as a one-man play, Via Dolorosa, performed by Hare. The Breath of Life (2002) is a caustic study of two late-middle-aged women, the abandoned wife and lover of the same man, roles originated in London by Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Stuff Happens (2004) is a bitingly topical examination of the Iraq war, repeatedly updated, with actors playing George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Colin Powell, and other real-life characters. The Iraq war is also central to The Vertical Hour (2006), the first of Hare's plays to debut on Broadway. He has also written and directed films and television dramas. He was knighted in 1998.

See his Acting Up (1999) and his memoir, The Blue Touch Paper (2015).

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