Sir David Hare – Festival Patron

One of the greatest British post-war playwrights, Sir David Hare is set to return to the town of his birth as Hastings launches its first literary festival.

Sir David, who is also a renowned screenwriter and director, is patron of the Hastings LitFest, which runs from August 31 to September 2 at venues throughout Hastings and St Leonards.

He’ll be appearing during the festival to talk about the importance of writing and why St Leonards, where he was born, and Bexhill, where he was brought up, are still close to his heart. His memoir, The Blue Touch Paper, deals partly with his upbringing in Bexhill in the 1950s.

He says: “Our aim is to provide a space and opportunity for writers to explore their voices, discover their creativity and to find ways in which they can pursue their ability to express themselves in writing.”

Sir David will visit Kino Teatr in St Leonards on September 1 to introduce a special screening of Oscar-winning film The Hours, starring Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, for which he wrote the screenplay.

He will also officially launch the festival at its opening ceremony, at the Opus Theatre on August 31. During the event, actor Julian Sands will be reading a personal selection of pieces that have particular meaning for him, including work by Sir David.

Julian, star of such films as A Room with a View, Warlock, Leaving Las Vegas and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is a long-term friend and colleague of Sir David and played Tony Blair in the National Theatre’s 2016 revival of his play about the invasion of Iraq, Stuff Happens.

Sir David has enjoyed great success with films, receiving two Academy Award nominations for best adapted screenplay for writing The Hours in 2002, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham, and The Reader in 2008, based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink. Both films won Oscars for their leading ladies Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet.

He is the author of over thirty plays including Plenty (adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep in 1985) and more than 25 films for television and cinema, including Wetherby, Damage and Denial.
His most recent TV drama, Collateral, starring Carey Mulligan, Nicola Walker, Billie Piper and John Simm, broke viewing records on BBC2 in February this year.

Sir David has always been a strong and often controversial voice; a passionate advocate of the power of writing – and the need for writers to use this power to speak honestly and openly – about politics, about emotions, about relationships and about truth.