Susan Balée has written a review of David Hare's latest play, The Vertical Hour, on a wonderful website called The Official Bill Nighy Experience. Susan and I are fellow enthusiasts for David Hare; Susan is also a devotee of Bill N., an actor I like a lot too.
I could not better Susan's great introduction for why I, too, love Hare's plays and always have done since seeing "Teeth 'n' Smiles" years ago:
"First, a confession: I think David Hare is possibly the best playwright of our era and I know for a fact Bill Nighy is the best actor. Hare has penned so many fabulous plays over the years – Skylight, Plenty, The Secret Rapture, Amy’s View, A Map of the World, just to name a handful – and he’s been willing to tackle Western society’s big issues and explore them in innovative ways. Until recently, he rarely preached to his audience, he simply showed us particular situations and let us draw our own conclusions. His ambiguity was a virtue; ditto his skill at sublimating the political issues that fascinate him into compelling stories about intimate relationships between human beings. As a female, I’ve also admired Hare because it’s clear he genuinely likes women, and powerful women with intelligent, witty dialogue feature in many of the above-named plays. Therefore, when I read this spring that Hare would be premiering a new play on Broadway and that my hero Bill Nighy would star in it … Well, let’s just say I was over the moon."
Unfortunately, Susan didn't enjoy the new play much: too much politics, not enough passion. But at least there was Bill.
Here is Susan's bio from the review:
"Susan Balée wrote the first biography of writer Flannery O’Connor and her essays on literature have appeared in a variety of publications, including The Weekly Standard, The Women’s Review of Books, The Hudson Review, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Oxford Encyclopedia to American Literature, and Scribner’s British Writers reference series. Her long essay on the career of playwright David Hare is forthcoming in The Michigan Quarterly Review.
Balée is also an unabashed and enthusiastic fan of the greatest actor in the English-speaking world: Bill Nighy."