Simon Gray Four Plays

Simon Gray
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ISBN 9780571219889 Format Paperback
Published 15/04/2004 Length 320 pages

About Book

The Pig Trade, Japes Too, Michael, The Holy Terror

The Pig Trade is set in 1937 in the Villa of I Tatti outsider Florence where, under the menacing shadow of Mussolini, a famous art historian and a notorious art dealer have an explosive final encounter.

Japes Too and Michael are companion plays, in which the love of two brothers for one woman both highlights and obscures their dependency on each other but where fate and tragedy strike differently.

Simon Gray's play Melon, which follows a publisher into his nervous breakdown and out again, enjoyed great success in the West End but, dissatisfied with the work, Gray revised it so thoroughly that a new play with the same central character emerged, entitled The Holy Terror.

This volume also contains a brief chronicle by the author on the gestation of his work and the impossibility of writing.

'Simon Gray is actually one of the most accessible, elegant and tender of contemporary writers. He is also, both on stage and on the printed page, laugh-out-loud funny.' Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

'Gray's plays, funny and sad, have a savage honesty at their heart.' Mail on Sunday

  • About Simon Gray

    Simon Gray was born in 1936. He began his writing career with Colmain (1963), the first of five novels, all published by Faber. He is the author of many plays for TV and radio, also films, including the 1987 adaptation of J L Carr's A Month in the Country, and TV films including Running Late, After Pilkington (winner of the Prix Italia) and Emmy Award-winning Unnatural Pursuits. He wrote more than thirty stage plays amongst them Butley and Otherwise Engaged (which both received Evening Standard Awards for Best Play), Close of Play, The Rear Column, Quartermaine's Terms, The Common Pursuit, Hidden Laughter, The Late Middle Classes (winner of the Barclay's Best Play Award), Japes, The Old Masters (his ninth play to be directed by Harold Pinter) and Little Nell, which premiered at the Theatre Royal Bath in 2007, directed by Peter Hall. Little Nell was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2006, and Missing Dates in 2008. In 1991 he was made BAFTA Writer of the Year. His acclaimed works of non-fiction are: An Unnatural Pursuit, How's That for Telling 'Em, Fat Lady?, Fat Chance, Enter a Fox, The Smoking Diaries, The Year of the Jouncer, The Last Cigarette and Coda. He was appointed CBE in the 2005 New Year's Honours for his services to Drama and Literature. Simon Gray died in August 2008.

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