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Looking Back: Playwrights at the Royal Court, 1956-2006

Harriet Devine

Looking Back: Playwrights at the Royal Court, 1956-2006 by Harriet Devine contains interviews with John Arden, Sebastian Barry, Richard Bean, Leo Butler and Lucy Prebble, David Cregan, Martin Crimp, April de Angelis, David Edgar, Kevin Elyot, Simon Farquhar, Peter Gill, Christopher Hampton, David Hare, Donald Howarth, Ann Jellicoe, Terry Johnson, Ayub Khan Din, Hanif Kureishi, Conor McPherson, Mustapha Matura, Louise Page, Joe Penhall, Glyn Pritchard, Simon Stephens, David Storey, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Arnold Wesker, Roy Williams, Snoo Wilson and Nicholas Wright.

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Looking Back is a captivating collection of new interviews by Harriet Devine, the daughter of the first Artistic Director of the Royal Court, George Devine, to celebrate the theatre’s fifty year anniversary. The book contains conversations with over thirty celebrated playwrights whose work has been produced at the Royal Court; from John Arden, whose first Court play was staged in 1957, to the young writer Simon Farquhar, whose première production was performed in 2006. The exciting list of writers includes David Hare, Hanif Kureishi, David Edgar, Simon Stephens, Sebastian Barry, Richard Bean, Martin Crimp, Anne Jellicoe, Terry Johnson, Conor McPherson, David Storey, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Arnold Wesker and Snoo Wilson. Concluding the volume is an interview with Graham Whybrow, Literary Manager of the Royal Court from 1994 to 2007.

‘Devine is a sensitive and intelligent interviewer, and this is as much a book about writing and the process of developing ideas as it is about the specific climate in which each work took place. Many of those interviewed provide fascinating insights into how acts of creation evolve.’ Financial Times