Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 314
In a career that has lasted more than thirty years, David Hare has written and adapted more than twenty stage plays and a number of screenplays, most of which combine his talents for creating intense, personal conflicts with his interest in criticizing conservative politics in Britain. Some of his best-known and most popular plays include Plenty (1978); A Map of the World (1982); his trilogy of plays about social institutions in Great Britain, Racing Demon (for which he earned both an Olivier Award and a Tony Award following its production in 1990), Murmuring Judges (1991), and The Absence of War (1992); and Skylight (1995).
Besides writing plays and movies, David Hare has also become an accomplished director and has contributed essays to newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. One of his own collections of his work is called Writing Left-Handed (1991). The essays in the book describe Hare’s thoughts on his plays (including The Secret Rapture), as well as his perspectives on theatre history in Great Britain and his opinions about a variety of contemporary political issues.
Very early in his career, Hare was identified with other British ‘‘political’’ playwrights such as Howard Brenton, Edward Bond, Snoo Wilson, and Howard Barker. All of these writers explored the effects of politics on British society. For examples of their writing, one can read Howard Brenton’s The Romans in Britain (1980), Edward Bond’s Saved (1965), Snoo Wilson’s The Glad Hand (1978), or Howard Barker’s The Loud Boy’s Life (1980).
Margaret Thatcher served as Britain’s prime minister from 1979 to 1990, longer than any other prime minister of the twentieth century. The politics of her government left a strong mark on her country and its culture, and this is re- flected in the work of writers like David Hare. Dancing with Dogma: Britain under Thatcherism by Ian Gilmour (1992) is a critique of Thatcher’s reign that describes the downside of her economic, foreign, and social policies.
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