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Laughter and forgiveness

In Peter Morgan's domestic-sized dramas, our leaders emerge as fallible, even loveable figures. But his work is not as reactionary as it seems

By Andrew Billen   December 2006

The most sought-after dramatist in the world, courted by television, theatre and Hollywood, is a 43-year-old Briton who does not even bother to invent his characters. Peter Morgan instead plucks his dramatis personae from the public stage. Richard Nixon, David Frost, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Lord Longford, Myra Hindley, Idi Amin and, most famously, the Queen have each been reimagined by him. Stripped of their historical majesty, they emerge as fallible, semi-comic players in domestic-sized dramas. In almost every case, we end up liking them more than we thought possible.

Morgan reanimates the recent past so cleverly that it is…

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