Illustrated with excepts from his plays Phoenix Rising (Lawrence), Divine Mountebank (Wolfit) and poems from Devils’ Wine, the poet, playwright and theatre director Campbell Kay reflects on the practical, political and personal issues of using biography and autobiography in dramatizing real lives.
The renowned novelist, poet, playwright, travel writer and essayist, D.H. Lawrence was born in Eastwood and spent his formative years in Nottinghamshire. A colossus of 20th century literature, with an international reputation, he frequently used autobiographical material to inform his writing particularly in his early novels The White Peacock and Sons and Lovers.
Perhaps less well known is Newark-born Sir Donald Wolfit, last of the great actor-managers. Famous for his over the top acting style, his larger than life personality and his outrageous, politically incorrect opinions, he ranked with Gieldgud and Olivier as one of the leading theatrical knights of the 20th century. Wolfit was an actor of the old schools, who believed fervently in the life enhancing power of theatre and refused to suffer fools, or critics, gladly.
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