Published in November 2015 issue of Prospect Magazine
David Hare’s beautifully abrasive memoir suggests, as with a firework, that you light the blue touch paper and stand back. Bristling with a magnificent arrogance, it coincides with a time in his playwriting career when he mines his own experience at Lancing College in the early 1960s in South Downs, commissioned as a companion piece to Terence Rattigan’s The Browning Version. Hare was unbottling his autobiography for the first time. His parents were dead—his father, a naval officer and full purser with the Peninsular and Oriental, had been away at sea for most of each year; his mother, a sensitive soul from Paisley—and he found himself explaining to young actors what living in a post-war, God-fearing middle-class environment meant.