Hare wrote The Vertical Hour - which has at its centre a character named Nadia Blye, former war correspondent, now star professor of political studies at Yale - because he was interested in the liberal pro-Iraq war position. 'All those academics,' as he puts it, 'who were in favour of the war for sound idealistic reasons.' He sees it as a companion piece to his last play, Stuff Happens, which dramatised the events leading up to the Iraq war with real politicians as its core characters. 'Whereas one's the public story of what actually happened,' he explains, 'this one - for me - is about: in what way are our lives different than five years ago, and in what perspective do we need now to see our lives? Western life is like a painting: our colour has been changed by another colour being painted at the top - we're looking at ourselves very differently from the perspective of what our so-called enemies believe about us. It's led to a rich period of self-examination.'
Monday, November 13, 2006
As David Hare's new play, The Vertical Hour, is prepared to open on Broadway, Gaby Wood on The Observer went behind the scenes.