Born June 5, 1947 in St. Leonards, Sussex, England, David
Hare was educated at Lancing College, Sussex. He then went on
to earn an MA in English from Jesus College, Cambridge in 1968.
His writing career began when a playwright failed to deliver
a play to the Portable Theatre, a travelling theatre group Hare
had co-founded with Tony Bicât. With only four days left
before the scheduled performance and no play in sight, Hare sat
down and composed what he now calls "a primitive satire
on the unlikelihood of revolution in Britain." However,
the short piece must have inspired some confidence in Hare's
ability, for he was soon commissioned to write a full-length
piece, Slag, which won him the Evening Standard Award
for most promising new playwright. Set in a school for girls,
Slag tells the story of three teachers who decide to abstain
from sex as a protest. In the end, however, their attempt to
establish an alternative society fails.
Hare served as literary manager (1969-70) and resident dramatist
(1970-71) for the Royal Court Theatre, London. In 1973, he became
resident dramatist at the Nottingham Playhouse. Then, in 1975,
he co-founded the Joint Stock Theatre Company, for whom he adapted
Fanshen (1975), William Hinton's book on the Chinese Revolution.
Like most of Hare's political plays, Fanshen refuses to
simplify complex moral issues. Focusing on the difficulties,
mistakes, and corruptions of the revolution, Hare ultimately
implies that those involved can learn from their mistakes and
perhaps even move towards a more ideal society.
After 1975, Hare began to write for the National Theatre which
produced Plenty (1978), A Map of the World (1983),
and Pravda (1985). Plenty, often considered Hare's
best play, revolves around a woman who served in the French Resistance
during World War II but finds herself disillusioned by post-war
Britain. The play questions the ability of world leaders to effect
change. A Map of the World, which takes its title from
Oscar Wilde's observation that "A map of the world that
does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at,"
contrasts the cynicism of a successful novelist with an aggressive
and idealistic young journalist. And Pravda deals with
the subservience of journalists to the power-hungry businessmen
that dominate London's Fleet Street.
Hare continued his satire in a trilogy of plays which set
their sights on one of Hare's favorite targets--institutions.
Racing Demon (1990) examines the Church of England, Murmuring
Judges (1991) questions the British legal system, and Absence
of War (1993) takes a harsh look at Britain's Labour Party.
Some of Hare's more recent plays, however, are less overtly political.
Amy's View (1997) is a wry and witty exploration of the
relationship between a mother and daughter, and The Judas
Kiss (1998) speculates on what might have happened behind
closed doors between playwright Oscar Wilde
and Lord Alfred Douglas, the man he loved and who betrayed him.
In addition to directing his own work, Hare has directed many
other plays including The Pleasure Principle (1973) by
Snoo Wilson, Weapons of Happiness (1976) by Howard Brenton,
and Devil's Island (1977) by Tony Bicât. He also
directed a production of King Lear for the National Theatre
which featured Anthony Hopkins as Lear. Since 1984, Hare has
served as associate director of the National Theatre, London
In 1982, Hare founded a film company, Greenpoint Films. He
has written several screenplays including Plenty (1985),
Weatherby (1985), Strapless (1989), Paris By
Night (1989), and Damage (1992). He has also written
several teleplays for the BBC including Licking Hitler
(1978) and Saigon: The Year of the Cat (1983).
Hare's awards include the BAFTA Award (1979), the New York
Drama Critics Circle Award (1983), the Berlin Film Festival Golden
Bear (1985), the Olivier Award (1990), and the London Theatre
Critics' Award (1990).
- Search eBay! for David Hare collectibles