LitBirthdays October 21, 2010

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Thursday October 21

Simon Gray (b. 1936) – U.K. playwright – The Late Middle Classes (1999) Simon Gray

Read about Simon Gray here

“Unlike the politically driven, state-of-the-nation plays of many of his near contemporaries, or even the dazzling metaphysical comedies of Tom Stoppard, Gray’s literate, commercial dramas such as Butley (1971), Otherwise Engaged (1975) and Close of Play (1979) were peopled by characters from the upper middle classes – cricketing ex-public schoolboys, academics and lawyers. Perhaps not surprisingly they tended to appeal less to the readers of the then vogueish Marxism Today and more to readers of Tatler.”

Read a review of the 2010 production of Gray’s
The Late Middle Classes

“the play works as a picture of an England of powdered eggs and emotional deprivation and as an account of how adult life can be scarred by childhood experience. Booted into touch a decade ago, it reminds us of just how good a dramatist Simon Gray was.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2010/jun/02/late-middle-classes-michael-billington

Read the New York Times obituary for Simon Gray

‘a character in a room says something, and I hope someone else will say something’ — and he wrote until it stopped being agony, in 20, 30, sometimes 40 drafts. ‘The last draft is always effortless,’ he said. ‘That’s how I know it’s finished.’

Watch some film / TV clips of Simon Gray’s screenplays

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