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Simon Stephens: A Working Diary

Simon Stephens

DOI: 10.5040/9781474251440

ISBN: 9781474251419

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.

'[A]n illuminating chronicle ... Stephens's diary is not so much about what he did today as about how he thought today, and it is this rigorous thinking that makes it such a pleasure to read ... Those seeking an insight into the working practices of some of the foremost theatre practitioners of our day, and an optimistic interrogation of why art continues to matter in these uncertain times, will be delighted.' Times Literary Supplement

'If I had a theatre book of the month award to give, this would be a runaway winner. There are insights on every page. We see thoughts come and go, we ponder his reflections and we begin to understand how a man like Stephens works.' The Stage