Simon Stephens: A Working Diary

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/21/2016
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama

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2014 was a spectacular year for playwright Simon Stephens, who has been described by the Independent as 'a brilliant writer of immense imagination' and by the Financial Times as having 'emerged in this millennium as an outstanding playwright'.

2014 was a year for Simon Stephens which featured a high number of world premiere plays including one for the theatre of his birthplace, Manchester's Royal Exchange, a major new play for the Downstairs space at London's Royal Court, and a Chekhov translation for London's Young Vic; a transfer of his West End hit The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to Broadway; and projects in Germany, a country which has seen Stephens lauded, in which he has worked extensively, and which has shaped much of his dramaturgy. In addition to these major projects, Stephens continued his role as a mentor of young writers, actors and directors, and continued to be one of the most frequent, outspoken and fiercely intelligent voices of the playwriting scene.

In an exceptionally honest account, Simon Stephens opens up to us, through daily diary entries, his working practices, his inner-most thoughts, his philosophy on theatre, the arts and politics, and his feelings and reactions to specific projects he has worked on. Through this, we are given unprecedented access to the mind of one of the most important playwrights of the twenty-first century.

Author Biography

Simon Stephens began his theatrical career in the literary department of the Royal Court Theatre, where he ran its Young Writers' Programme. His plays for theatre include Bluebird (Royal Court Theatre, London, 1998, directed by Gordon Anderson); Herons (Royal Court Theatre, 2001); Port (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 2002); One Minute (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 2003 and Bush Theatre, London, 2004); Christmas (Bush Theatre, 2004); Country Music (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 2004); On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange Theatre and National Theatre, London, 2005); Motortown (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2006); Pornography (Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hanover, 2007; Edinburgh Festival/Birmingham Rep, 2008 and Tricycle Theatre, London, 2009); Harper Regan (National Theatre, 2008); Sea Wall (Bush Theatre, 2008/Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 2009); Heaven (Traverse Theatre, 2009); Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith, London, and Royal Exchange Theatre, 2009); The Trial of Ubu (Essen Schauspielhaus/Toneelgroep Amsterdam, 2010); A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (co-written with David Eldridge and Robert Holman; Lyric Hammersmith, London, 2010); Marine Parade (co-written with Mark Eitzel; Brighton International Festival, 2010); T5 (Traverse Theatre, 2010); Wastwater (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2011); Morning (Lyric Hammersmith, 2012); an adaptation of A Doll's House (Young Vic, 2012); an adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre, 2012); Blindsided (Royal Exchange, 2014); and Birdland (Royal Court, 2014). His radio plays include Five Letters Home to Elizabeth (BBC Radio 4, 2001) and Digging (BBC Radio 4, 2003). His screenwriting includes an adaptation of Motortown for Film4 (2009); the two-part serial Dive (with Dominic Savage) for Granada/BBC (2009); and a short film adaptation of Pornography for Channel 4's 'Coming Up' series (2009). Awards include the Pearson Award for Best New Play, 2001, for Port; Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World, 2005; and for Motortown German critics in Theater Heute's annual poll voted him Best Foreign Playwright, 2007.

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