Beat the Devil
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.
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 National Theatre in Antony and Cleopatra. 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, 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.
Nicholas Hytner co-founded London Theatre Company with Nick Starr. For the Bridge Theatre he has directed Young Marx, Julius Caesar, Allelujah!, Alys, Always, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Ladies, Beat the Devil, The Shrine, Bed Among the Lentils and A Christmas Carol. Previously he was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015. His book Balancing Acts is published by Jonathan Cape.
Training Central St Martins.
Theatre includes Julius Caesar at The Bridge; Company at the Gielgud Theatre (Olivier Award for Best Set Design), plus many productions for the National Theatre, including The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (also West End and Broadway; Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Set Design), People Places and Things (also West End, New York and touring), The Red Barn (Evening Standard Best Design Award), Husbands and Sons (also at Royal Exchange Manchester), The White Guard and A Streetcar Named Desire (Olivier Awards for both). Other recent theatre includes The Wild Duck and Ink (also West End and New York: Evening Standard Best Design Award and Tony nomination) at the Almeida; Made in Dagenham in the West End; If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me at the Young Vic; The Vagina Monologues at the Royal Albert Hall and West End; and the all-female Henry IV and Julius Caesar (also St Ann’s Warehouse, NY) for the Donmar Warehouse.
Opera includes Tosca and the world premiere of André Previn’s Brief Encounter for Houston Grand Opera; and Medea for ENO and Geneva Grand Opera.
Film includes Swansong with John Gielgud (nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Film).
Theatre includes, for the Bridge, Alys, Always; for the National Theatre The Lehman Trilogy, 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 New York). In the West End The Lehman Trilogy, The Inheritance, The Jungle, Betrayal, Pinter at the Pinter Season, Frozen, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Doctor Faustus, Made in Dagenham, King Charles III (also Broadway), The Commitments, I Can’t Sing! The X-Factor Musical, The Ruling Class, Apologia, The Maids, The Pride, Three Days of Rain, The Little Dog Laughed, The Lover and The Collection, and Pinter’s People. For the Young Vic: The Inheritance, The Jungle (also New York and San Francisco), Life of Galileo, Once In A Lifetime, A Streetcar Named Desire (also New York), A Season in the Congo, Street Scene and Been So Long. For the Almeida Richard III, King Charles III, and American Psycho. For the Donmar Warehouse Limehouse, Trelawny of the Wells, Moonlight and Polar Bears. For the Old Vic: The Lorax (also Toronto, Minneapolis and San Diego). At the Lyric Hammersmith: Fatherland (also MIF), Tipping the Velvet, and The Birthday Party. For the Royal Court Ten Billion, Red Bud, Aunt Dan and Lemon, The Pride, and Gone Too Far! Other theatre includes: Into the Woods at Regent’s Park; Salomé for Headlong; and Water and Silence for Filter.
Opera includes The Exterminating Angel for The Metropolitan Opera (also Royal Opera House, Salzburg Festival, Royal Danish Opera); Lucia di Lammermoor (also Greek National Opera), L’Étoile, Kròl 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).
Awards Knight of Illumination and Green Room Australia.
Training Central School of Speech & Drama (in theatre design).
Theatre includes Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End and New York; The Encounter for Complicité; The Barber Shop Chronicles, Othello, The Cat in the Hat, A Matter Of Life and Death, Attempts on Her Life, Waves and John (DV8) at the National Theatre; Still No Idea for Improbable; As You Like It at Regent’s Park; Let The Right One In at the Abbey, Dublin; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Christmas Carol in the West End; Woyzeck at the Old Vic; City of Glass for Manchester HOME and Lyric Hammersmith, Peter and the Starcatcher at Northampton; Boy at the Almeida; First Love is the Revolution at the Soho; The Glass Menagerie for Headlong. Other work includes The Master and Margarita, Shun-kin and Endgame for Complicité; Black Watch for National Theatre Scotland; The Secret Agent for Theatre O; The Noise for Unlimited; The Cherry Orchard, Wild Swans and Hamlet at the Young Vic; Victory Condition, B and Road at the Royal Court; and Othello for Frantic Assembly.
International work includes Reise Durch die Nacht at Schauspiel, Cologne; Richard III at the Old Vic, BAM and world tour, nominated for Best Sound Drama Desk; and Die Gelde Tapete and Fraulein Julie for the Schabühne, Berlin.
Exhibitions include David Bowie Is, Glastonbury Land & Legend, Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright, Five Stages of Truth at the V&A; Digital Revolution at Barbican Curve; By the deep, by the mark – Eloise Hawser; Perfume at Somerset House; Moments of Silence at the Imperial War Museum; and Tycho Brahe in Denmark.
Events include Somerset House Film4 Summer Screen & Ice Rink, Bloom, Five Telegrams (EIF opening events); Hampton Court 500 Rewind, Lighting the Sails 2014 (VIVID Live, Sydney), Soundscape Design and the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Immersive film & TV include Hear Their There Here for iOS and Android, St Ann’s Warehouse; Cla’am (winner Best Short, Raindance); Draw Me Close (VR, NT ISS, selected for Tribeca and Vienna Film Festivals); advertising campaigns for Expedia, Bose, Volvo, Philips; and The Snow Queen, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland and A Christmas Carol for BBC CBeebies.
Radio includes Omay, Jump, OK Computer and The Overwhelming.
Awards include 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.