Sir David Hare

Definition

Theater

  • (David Rippon; 1947 - ) British playwright and director,noted for his critical examination of post-war British society. In1968 he became a founder of the travelling fringe company,Portable Theatre, which performed some of his early plays. The followingyear he became resident playwright at the Royal Court Theatre, whichgave the first performance of his play Slag (1970), about threeteachers at a girls' school who decide to abstain from sex.

    In 1973 Hare became resident playwright at the NottinghamTheatre, where he collaborated with the playwright Howard Brentonon Brassneck (1973). The following year he became a cofounderof the Joint Stock Company, for which he adapted William Hinton'sFanshen (1975).

    With the National Theatre's production of Plenty(1978), the best known of his earlier plays, Hare began a long associationwith the company. In 1984 he was appointed an associate director ofthe National, which a year later produced Hare and Brenton's Pravda,a vigorous satire on the tabloid press. In 1986 Hare presented KingLear at the National, his debut as a Shakespearean director.

    Hare's major work of the early 1990s was a much-praised trilogyof plays about British institutions; this began in 1990 with RacingDemon, about the Church of England, continued in 1991 with MurmuringJudges, about the judiciary, and concluded with The Absenceof War (1993), about the Labour Party. Subsequent work includes theaward-winning Amy's View (1996), which examined the role of livetheater in an age of digital media, Via Dolorosa (1998), a one-manshow in which Hare also starred, and The Permanent Way (2004), adocumentary drama about the consequences of rail privatization in Britain. Stuff Happens (2004) offered a compelling interpretation of the political events leading to the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003. Debates about the morality of that conflict also intersect with the characters'twisted private lives in The Vertical Hour (2008), the first ofHare's plays to be premiered on Broadway. In 2009 the National Theatrestaged Hare's The Power of Yes, a documentary drama about thefinancial crisis based on interviews with City figures. That same yearHare himself returned to the stage in the paired monologues Berlinand Wall.

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