Howard Barker Interviews 1980–2010 (Book)
Conversations in Catastrophe
British playwright Howard Barker coined the term 'theatre of catastrophe' to describe his unique brand of complex, ambiguous and often unsettling drama. Revered in continental Europe, North America and Australia as one of the greatest living dramatists working in the English language, Barker is also a celebrated poet, theatre theorist and painter. The first collection of interviews conducted with Barker, Howard Barker Interviews 1980–2010 covers his entire career and gives a strong sense of the life and work of this innovative dramatist.
Mark Brown is a theater critic for the Sunday Herald and lecturer in theater studies at the University of Strathclyde.
‘These engrossing dialogues have a chiselled philosophical brilliance, and display a fierce personal dignity. In them we find Barker rejoicing in contrariety and championing the intimacies of beauty and suffering. As writer and director, he is, as he once admiringly said of actors, different in kind – a fact these fascinating interviews triumphantly confirm.’
Ian McDiarmid, actor
‘This fascinating collection of conversations provides a unique insight into the processes which make Howard Barker’s plays works of sheer brilliance. These interviews remind us that the theatre can be utterly profound, philosophical, savagely political and completely captivating.’
Roxana Silbert, associate director, Royal Shakespeare Company
‘This book provides a fascinating and comprehensive insight into Barker's extensive body of work. By presenting this overview through interviews with the playwright himself, it offers the reader an incredibly rich and complete sense, not only of the plays, but also of the character and personality of arguably our greatest living dramatist.’
Dominic Hill, artistic director, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
‘An immaculately put-together, absolutely necessary book, not just for the Barker aficionado but for anyone wondering what happened to the battle of ideas in British theatre. This volume provides an essential overview of this under-appreciated playwright and his enduring work. It’s like a critical survey, intellectual autobiography and dictionary of Barkerian quotations rolled into one.’
Dominic Cavendish, theatre critic, Daily Telegraph