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In these intimate diaries, Hall chronicles the eight frenzied years between 1972 and 1980 when he conducted the historic move of the National Theatre from the Old Vic to the South Bank, and then triumphantly consolidated its position as the leading showcase for theatre in Britain.
With remarkable candour Hall describes his relationship with Lord Olivier; with actors Paul Scofield, Ralph Richardson, Alec Guinness, John Gielgud, Albert Finney and Peggy Ashcroft; with playwrights Harold Pinter, John Osborne, Samuel Beckett, David Hare, Peter Shaffer and Howard Brenton; and with directors John Schlesinger, John Dexter, Bill Bryden, Christopher Morahan and Jonathan Miller. In his startlingly frank, incisive style, he creates sometimes affectionate, sometimes acid portraits of his friends and enemies, of great actors in rehearsal.
In his foreword, Hall casts a critical eye over the state of British theatre today and, through a discussion of politics and the arts in the eighties and nineties, contemplates its future.