David Edgar

David Edgar’s plays include The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, which had a run time of more than eight hours, Maydays, The Prisoner’s Dilemma and Playing with Fire. He is the author of How Plays Work and set up an MA in playwriting at the University of Birmingham.

People Like You: In Burnley

David Edgar, 23 September 2021

Mike Makin-Waite​, a militant anti-fascist, was working for the borough council in Burnley when, after riots in the town in 2001, it became a stronghold of the British National Party. On Burnley Road explores the complexities of these events, not least as a way of explaining the fall of the ‘Red Wall’ nearly twenty years later. As a young man in the mid-1970s, Makin-Waite became...

If​ 2016 was the year of the crime, then 2017 was dominated by the police investigation. In the eyes of most commentators, there were two prime suspects: the responsibility for the Brexit vote lay with either economic privation or cultural loss. In The Lure of Greatness, Anthony Barnett, the founder of Charter 88 and co-founder of Open Democracy, has identified a third: the constitution.


What did happen? Ukraine

David Edgar, 21 January 2016

This is what​ it looks like from the West. A post-Soviet republic holds a presidential election which a candidate from the east of the country with criminal backing attempts to steal, provoking a popular uprising, a rerun of the election and the victory of his opponent. Six years later the eastern candidate wins the presidency against a divided opposition, jails his main opponent on trumped...

Had things​ been different, last year’s obituaries might have read like this. Although known for his charm, wit and talent as mimic and raconteur, Jeremy Thorpe will be chiefly remembered as the deviser of much of the programme of modern British liberalism, and the architect of one of its great periods of electoral success. The grandson and son of undistinguished Conservative MPs,...

Exit Humbug: Theatrical Families

David Edgar, 1 January 2009

Ellen Terry was the youngest daughter of two touring players, and began her own stage career at the age of six. Ten years later, she married a painter three times her age; they separated within ten months. Three years after that, she took up with the architect Edward William Godwin. They did not marry, but had a daughter and son together, and the expense of their upkeep drove her back to the...

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