Michael Kustow

National Debate

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David Edgar's drama Playing with Fire was attacked by critics. In this counterblast, theatre producer Michael Kustow argues Edgar is the Dickens of our stage.

The National Theatre under its director Nicholas Hytner has paid fierce attention to the sore points of the body politic - privatised railways (David Hare's The Permanent Way), the invasion of Iraq (Hare's Stuff Happens), the updating of classics (Shakespeare's Henry V in the era of the Gulf wars) and, in Mike Leigh's recent 2,000 Years, the effect on one Jewish family of the erosion of Zionism, the occupation of Iraq and the tug of war between rationality and religious belief.

The play's the thing

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