Behind the Beautiful Forevers

David Hare

David Hare’s stage adaptation of Behind the Beautiful Forevers premieres at the National Theatre, London, in November 2014.

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It’s not just that rich people don’t know what they’ve got. They don’t even know what they throw away.

India is beginning to prosper. But beyond the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport is an obstacle, a
makeshift slum. It’s home to foul mouthed Zehrunisa and her garbage sorting son Abdul, entrepreneurs both. Sunil, twelve, picks plastic. Manju, schoolteacher, hopes to be the settlement’s first woman to gain a degree. Asha, go-to woman, exploits every scam to become a first-class person. And Fatima, One Leg, is about to make an accusation that will destroy herself and shatter the neighbourhood.

Katherine Boo spent three years under the flight-path, recording the lives of Annawadi’s diverse inhabitants. Now from Boo’s book, which won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction in 2012, David Hare has fashioned an epic play for the stage which details the ingenious and sometimes violent ways in which the poor and disadvantaged negotiate with corruption to seek a handhold on capitalism’s lowest rungs.

David Hare’s stage adaptation of Behind the Beautiful Forevers premiered at the National Theatre, London, in November 2014.


David Hare has written over thirty stage plays and thirty screenplays for film and television. The plays include¬†Plenty,¬†Pravda (with Howard Brenton),¬†The Secret Rapture,¬†Racing Demon,¬†Skylight,¬†Amy’s View,¬†The Blue Room,¬†Via Dolorosa,¬†Stuff Happens,¬†The Absence of War,¬†The Judas Kiss,¬†The Red Barn,¬†The Moderate Soprano,¬†I’m Not Running and¬†Beat the Devil. For cinema, he has written The Hours, The Reader,¬†Damage,¬†Denial,¬†Wetherby and¬†The White Crow among others, while his television…

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