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Castorboy

Sir David Hare interview

Our National Radio has an extended interview with David Hare about his plays and films with some amusing anecdotes of his friends Bill Nighy and Ian McEwan. Also I hadn’t realized that Hare has some trenchant opinions of the present British Labour government and Tony Blair especially.
The link is here http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday
Mikeharvey

David Hare looms large in English Theatrical life, has always been interested in, and written about, English politics and topical events.  He currently has a new political play, 'The Power of Yes' at the National Theatre. He's been a dominant figure since the early 70s and I've seen many of his plays in their original productions, most notably 'Knuckle' (1974, Edward Fox), 'Teeth'n Smiles (1975, Helen Mirren), 'Plenty' (1978), 'A Map of the World' (Bill Nighy,1982), 'Pravda'(Anthony Hopkins, 1985),'The Bay at Nice' (Irene Worth,1986).  
My own favourites are the plays that made up his trilogy about contemporary English life at the National Theatre in the early 1990s; 'Racing Demon' (about the Church), 'Murmuring Judges' (about the law and the police), 'The Absence of War'( a thinly disguised play about the Labour Party).
His biggest popular successes I think have been 'Amy's View' (Judi Dench, 1997) and 'The Blue Room' (1998) which I saw with Nicole Kidman.
He has grown very prolific lately and produced instant plays on highly topical subjects.  All done by the National Theatre.  
Recently, I feel, that his work has been less impressive, and I've found his plays somewhat dull as theatre.  He seems to me to have relinquished the theatrical impact of in favour of the polemic.  Which happened to Bernard Shaw.  But this is a very personal view and not widely shared. However, I have never found his dialogue, or his stage-craft very memorable, and I don't think his plays will be revived much in the future. I repeat, this is a very personal response.  
He also has something of a reputation as a director, but I found his production of 'King Lear' at the National with Anthony Hopkins very dull.
He has also appeared in his own one-man play' Via Dolorosa' (1998)which, Hare, not being a natural or very accomplished stage performer,  tested my patience to the limits.
TheRejectAmidHair

Mikeharvey wrote:

Recently, I feel, that his work has been less impressive, and I've found his plays somewhat dull as theatre.  He seems to me to have relinquished the theatrical impact of in favour of the polemic.  Which happened to Bernard Shaw.  But this is a very personal view and not widely shared. However, I have never found his dialogue, or his stage-craft very memorable, and I don't think his plays will be revived much in the future. I repeat, this is a very personal response.  


Personal or not, it is a view I share. I don't know as much of david Hare's work as you do, but what I do know of it hasn't really impressed me.
Caro

There's a review of David Hare's The Vertical Hour in the latest NZ Listener.  Everything is praised except the play itself.  "Jane Waddell has directed this essentially static play as damned near well as anyone could, but she had to work with what Hare wrote and what he wrote falls short of coherent and convincing."  [Personally I find this sentence a little less than totally coherent.] "There are some great lines, and some profound meditations on the nature of reality, truth and human experience, but he leaves the audience like Iraq after the invasion [the play is about the Iraq invasion] - occupied but unsatisfied."He priases the actors and says the set features the best stage tree he has ever seen and the lighting designer Ulli Briese 'gives us a slow-breaking dawn to die for."

I don't actually know any of Hare's plays so have no idea if this is a typical one.  

Cheers, Caro.

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