Beat the Devil
Overview of the production
Covid-19 seems to be a sort of dirty bomb, thrown into the body to cause havoc.
On the same day that the UK government finally made the first of two decisive interventions that led to a conspicuously late lockdown, David Hare contracted Covid-19. Nobody seemed to know much about it then, and many doctors are not altogether sure they know much more today. Suffering a pageant of apparently random symptoms, Hare recalls the delirium of his illness, which mixed with fear, dream, honest medicine and dishonest politics to create a monologue of furious urgency and power.
Beat the Devil will be screened on Sky Arts on 11 November 9pm, 2021.
Approx 50 mins, no interval
Can be ordered here
Ralph Fiennes has enjoyed an extensive career in theatre, film and television as well as producing and directing film. He was last on stage at The Bridge in David Hare’s Beat the Devil, directed by Nicholas Hytner, and recently toured in The Four Quartets which has a London run from 18 November 2021. Fiennes was previously directed by Hytner as Edmund in King Lear for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His many other theatre credits include Hamlet, Ivanov, Richard II and Coriolanus for the Almeida, Antony and Cleopatra, The Master Builder, God of Carnage and Faith Healer. His many film credits include Schindler’s List, The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, The Grand Budapest Hotel and the roles of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films and M in Skyfall and Spectre. He has also directed three feature films – Coriolanus, The Invisible Woman and The White Crow. Fiennes’ forthcoming films include The King’s Man, The Dig, The Forgiven and No Time To Die.
Creative & production
David Hare is one of the UK’s most prolific and acclaimed writers having written extensively for stage, television and film. He is the author of over 30 full length plays, his first, Slag, was produced in 1970. Hare is the winner of multiple international awards including a BAFTA for Licking Hitler, an Olivier award and a Critics’ Circle award for Racing Demon, an Evening Standard Drama award for Pravda and a Tony award for Skylight. He is also a two-time Academy award nominee for The Hours and The Reader and was knighted in 1998.
Theatre includes, for The Bridge: A Christmas Carol, Beat the Devil, Talking Heads, A German Life and Alys, Always. For the National Theatre: The Manor, Anna, The Lehman Trilogy (also West End and Broadway), I’m Not Running, Absolute Hell, Amadeus, As You Like It, The Beaux’ Stratagem, Othello, The Effect, Collaborators, A Woman Killed with Kindness, Hamlet, Greenland, Pains of Youth, Our Class, Damned by Despair, Women of Troy, The Cat in the Hat, Beauty & the Beast and Hansel and Gretel. For the RSC: Hamlet, The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, The Homecoming, The Winter’s Tale and King Lear (also in New York). In the West End The Shark is Broken, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Inheritance, The Jungle, Betrayal, Pinter at the Pinter season, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Doctor Faustus, King Charles III (also Broadway), The Commitments and The Ruling Class. For the Young Vic: Tree, The Jungle, The Inheritance (also New York and San Francisco), The Life of Galileo, and A Streetcar Named Desire. For the Almeida: Richard III and King Charles III. For the Donmar Warehouse Limehouse, Trelawny of the Wells and Moonlight. For the Old Vic: The Lorax (also Toronto, Minneapolis and San Diego). Other theatre includes Evita and Into the Woods at Regent’s Park; Salome for Headlong; and Water and Silence for Filter.
Opera includes Orpheus and Eurydice for ENO; Lucia di Lammermoor for Greek National Opera and ROH; The Turn of the Screw for Regent’s Park and ENO; The Exterminating Angel for The Metropolitan Opera (also ROH, Salzburg Festival, Royal Danish Opera); L’Étoile, Król Roger (also Opera Australia; Green Room Award for Best Lighting Design), and Written on Skin (also Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Lincoln Center NY, Bolshoi Moscow, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Toulouse) for the Royal Opera House; Hamlet at Glyndebourne (also Adelaide Festival); The Turn of the Screw (at Open Air Theatre); La Bohème (also DNO), Wozzeck, Caligula and The Return of Ulysses (at the Young Vic) for ENO; and The Perfect American for Teatro Real, Madrid (also ENO).
Dance includes The Cellist for the Royal Ballet, plus new work with Wayne McGregor, Cathy Marston, Will Tuckett, Karole Armitage, Bern Ballet and Scottish Dance Theatre.
Awards Olivier Award for The Inheritance, Knight of Illumination for Three Days of Rain and Green Room Australia for Król Roger.
TRAINING Central School of Speech & Drama (in theatre design).
THEATRE includes Bach & Sons, A Christmas Carol, Beat the Devil, Talking Heads and Alys, Always at The Bridge; To The Streets for China Plate & Birmingham 2022; Psychodrama at the Traverse; Othello for Frantic Assembly), Jungle Book Reimagined for Akram Khan, Bedknobs & Broomsticks UK tour, Leopards at the Rose Theatre, The Language of Kindness for Wayward Productions, The Encounter, The Master and Margarita, Shun-kin, and Endgame for Complicité; Harry Potter And The Cursed Child in London, New York, Melbourne, San Francisco, Hamburg, Toronto and Tokyo; Black Watch for National Theatre Scotland; The Arrival at the Bush Theatre; The Barber Shop Chronicles, Draw Me Close, Othello, The Cat in the Hat, A Matter of Life and Death, Attempts on Her Life, Waves and John (DV8) at the National Theatre; Invisible Cities at Manchester International Festival; John for DV8; As You Like It at Regent’s Park; Let The Right One In, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Christmas Carol in the West End; Woyzeck at the Old Vic; Wings, The Cherry Orchard, Wild Swans, Hamlet and Joe Turner’s Come And Gone at the Young Vic; Victory Condition, B, and Road at the Royal Court); Boy, Game for the Almeida; Road, B, Victory Condition for the Royal Court; CBeebies Thumbelina, Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, A Christmas Carol for the BBC. Soundscape Design, Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.
AWARDS Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; Special Tony, Drama Desk, Helpmann and Evening Standard Awards for The Encounter (with co-designer Pete Malkin); Olivier and Helpmann Awards for Black Watch; Olivier Award for Waves; and IRNE Award for Wild Swans.
BOOK Sound Design for the Stage.
He is a founder and former chair of the Association of Sound Designers; and honorary fellow of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
George Fenton works in film, theatre and television and has frequently adapted music for scores, notably Handel for The Madness of King George, and Vivaldi and JS Bach for Dangerous Liaisons.
Film Recent work includes The United Way, The Duke and The Secret: Dare to Dream. Other films include Cry Freedom, Shadowlands, The Fisher King, Groundhog Day, You’ve Got Mail, Hitch, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, I Daniel Blake, and The Lady in the Van.
Television includes The Jewel in the Crown, The Monocled Mutineer, Talking Heads, Life, and many themes including Shoestring, Bergerac, BBC News, Newsnight and On the Record. Also The Blue Planet, Planet Earth and The Frozen Planet. He conducts the Planet scores in concert with orchestras worldwide.
Theatre includes Visit from an Unknown Woman,The Smoking Diaries, Collaborators, Untold Stories, Mrs Henderson Presents and, at the Bridge Theatre, Allelujah!, Talking Heads, and Beat The Devil.