David Hare on speeches

I don’t know about you but I’m a big fan of David Hare. I thought ‘Plenty’ was marvellous, and so was a David Hare play produced in Melbourne some years ago called “Skyliight”. Here’s a terrific little essay of his extolling the virtues of the lecture. I agree with pretty much everything he says – from weddings, ‘debates’ and panels on the media to the idea that “Democracy, like everything else, thrives on preparation”.

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Rafe
2022 years ago

Based on comments that he was reported to be making during the Thatcher years I gained the impression that he was raving mad but that impression was not informed by seeing his plays. I probably need to read more of my Hegel book as well but after a promising start which located him in relationship to other strands of thought at the time I am now struggling with the metaphysics of Absolute Idealism. I suspect that Nicholas is making me read this book so I don’t have time to contribute to the IR debate.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

No Rafe he is Hare brained!

Rafe
2022 years ago

Hare today, jugged tomorrow, as per Mrs Beeton’s cookbook. But first catch your Hare.

Gaby
Gaby
2022 years ago

Totally agree with you about Hare.

I didn’t see the stage version of “Plenty” but only the film.

Skylight was a terrific play.

I also saw his “Via Dolorosa” at the Adelaide Festival in 2002. Very good.

Screenwriter for “The Hours” too.

Nicholas Gruen
2022 years ago

I didn’t think a whole lot of ‘The Hours’ though it was OK. I eagerly anticipated Hare’s play on Wilde as I’m such a fan of both. But on seeing “The Judas Kiss” I was disappointed.

Still Plenty and Skylight were marvellous.

Gaby
Gaby
2022 years ago

Agree about “The Hours”. A very slight film.

I forgot about “Judas Kiss”. Saw it a few years ago and remember enjoying it. It was a terrific production. From memory, I thought it gave a quite rounded portrait of the “Wilde” although character, although I have no idea have accurate it was. Also of the issues surrounding his trial and subsequent dissolution.

What disappointed you Nicholas?

Nicholas Gruen
2022 years ago

Gaby,

Re the Judas Kiss, I saw a Melbourne Production and from memory Billie Brown was Wilde. He was good. But I just remember finding it pretty dull.

Perhaps part of the problem was that I went with very high expectations being a big fan of Hare and an even bigger one of Wilde.

When trying to remember the name of the play, I Googled up this review – http://www.albemarle-london.com/judaskiss.html – which seemed to capture my memories of the failings of the production.

By the way I saw a wonderful Melbourne production of Lady Windermere’s Fan with Gerry Connolly as the ‘Wilde’ – one aphorism every ten seconds – character. He was marvellous, as was the play and the production.

Gaby
Gaby
2022 years ago

I saw the same production with Bille Brown in Adelaide. I now recall the opening with the chambermaid and waiter!! Thought Bille was excellent as Wilde.

I have few clear memories of the play, just vaguish impressions. Reading the reviews you pointed to has refreshed my memory. I remember liking in particular that the play dealt with larger themes, rather than straight biography. Like love, lust, fatherhood, courage, justice, defeat.

It seems to me that the London production was a little weak. Surprising with Richard Eyre and Liam Neesom involved.

I’ve also read the Hare lecture you linked to. Very good and too true about panels and public dialectics.

By the way, I’m off to see Albee’s “The Goat,or Who is Sylvia?” Seen it?

I like his “A Delicate Balance”. The old movie with Lee Remick and Paul Scofield is very good. My intro to him.

Gaby
Gaby
2022 years ago

For what it’s worth, I’ve seen “The Goat” now. A brilliant night at the theatre. Totally engrossing. Wonderfully acted, terrific production, scintillating dialogue.

It may even be a Queensland production. I’m not sure.

Well worth seeing.