Obedience, Struggle and Revolt

David Hare

Faber & Faber




256 Pages


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What is a political playwright? Does theatre have any direct effect on society? Why choose to work in a medium that speaks to so few? Is theatre itself facing oblivion?—all frequent questions addressed to David Hare over the last thirty-five years, as his work has taken him from the traveling fringe to the National Theatre, from seasons on Broadway to performances in prisons, church halls and on bare floors. Since 1978, Hare has sought to address these and other questions in occasional lectures given both in Britain and abroad. Now, for the first time, these lectures are collected together with some of his more recent prose pieces about God, Iraq, Israel/Palestine and the privatisation of the railways. Bringing to the lectern the same gift for the essential for which his plays are known, Hare presents the distilled result of a lifetime's sustained thinking about art and politics.


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Excerpted from Obedience, Struggle & Revolt by David Hare. Copyright © 2005 by David Hare. Published December 2005 by Faber and Faber Inc., an affiliate of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.


It would take a great scholar of the English language to tell us when the word 'lecture' acquired such negative connotations. 'Don't lecture me!' 'I'm not taking a lecture from anyone.' 'It was more like a lecture than a play.' Look in the Collins English Dictionary and only one of the six given meanings is 'to reprimand at length'. But somehow the sixth has
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  • David Hare

  • David Hare has written over twenty stage plays, among them Plenty, The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, The Absence of War, Skylight, Amy's View, Via Dolorosa, The Permanent Way and Stuff Happens. He has adapted into English plays by Pirandello, Brecht, Chekhov, Schnitzler, Lorca and Gorky. His television films include Licking Hitler. He has written screenplays for many feature films, most recently the film of The Hours.