Sir Peter Shaffer
Peter Levin Shaffer
15 May 1926
|Died||6 June 2016 90) (aged|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Black Comedy , Equus , Amadeus|
|Awards||Academy Award for Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay; Golden Globe Award for best screenplay; multiple Tony Awards and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for best play|
Sir Peter Levin Shaffer, CBE ( // ; 15 May 1926 – 6 June 2016), was an English playwright and screenwriter. He wrote numerous award-winning plays, of which several were adapted into films.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.
Shaffer was born to a Jewish family in Liverpool, the son of Reka (née Fredman) and Jack Shaffer, an estate agent.He was the identical twin brother of fellow playwright Anthony Shaffer.
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.
Anthony Joshua Shaffer was an English playwright, screenwriter, novelist, barrister and advertising executive.
He was educated at the Hall School, Hampstead, and St Paul's School, London, and subsequently he gained a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, to study history. Shaffer was a Bevin Boy coal miner during World War II, and took a number of jobs including bookstore clerk, and assistant at the New York Public Library, before discovering his dramatic talents.
Hampstead, commonly known as Hampstead Village, is an area of London, England, 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Part of the London Borough of Camden, it is known for its intellectual, liberal, artistic, musical and literary associations and for Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland. It has some of the most expensive housing in the London area. The village of Hampstead has more millionaires within its boundaries than any other area of the United Kingdom.
St Paul's School is a selective independent school for boys aged 13–18, founded in 1509 by John Colet and located on a 43-acre (180,000m2) site by the River Thames, in Barnes, London.
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Homerton College, Cambridge.
Shaffer's first play, The Salt Land (1955), was presented on ITV on 8 November 1955. Encouraged by this success, Shaffer continued to write and established his reputation as a playwright in 1958, with the production of Five Finger Exercise ,which opened in London under the direction of John Gielgud and won the Evening Standard Drama Award. When Five Finger Exercise moved to New York City in 1959, it was equally well received and landed Shaffer the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play.
ITV is a British free-to-air television channel. Previously a network of separate regional television channels, ITV currently operates in England, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
Five Finger Exercise is a 1962 American drama film made by Columbia Pictures, directed by Daniel Mann and produced by Frederick Brisson from a screenplay by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, based on the play by Peter Shaffer.
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trinity of actors who dominated the British stage for much of the 20th century. A member of the Terry family theatrical dynasty, he gained his first paid acting work as a junior member of his cousin Phyllis Neilson-Terry's company in 1922. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he worked in repertory theatre and in the West End before establishing himself at the Old Vic as an exponent of Shakespeare in 1929–31.
Shaffer's next piece was a double bill, The Private Ear/The Public Eye, two plays each containing three characters and concerning aspects of love. They were presented in May 1962 at the Globe Theatre, and both starred Maggie Smith and Kenneth Williams. Smith won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Leading Actress at the age of 27.[ citation needed ]
The Gielgud Theatre is a West End theatre, located on Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster, London, at the corner of Rupert Street. The house currently has 986 seats on three levels.
Dame Margaret Natalie Smith is an English actress. She has had an extensive, varied career on stage, film, and television, spanning over 67 years. Smith has appeared in over 50 films, and is one of Britain's most recognizable actresses. A prominent figure in British culture for six decades, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for services to the performing arts, and received the Companion of Honour from the Queen in 2014 for services to drama.
Kenneth Charles Williams was an English actor, best known for his comedy roles and in later life as a raconteur and diarist. He was one of the main ensemble in 26 of the 31 Carry On films, and appeared in many British television programmes and radio comedies, including series with Tony Hancock and Kenneth Horne.
The National Theatre was established in 1963, and virtually all of Shaffer's subsequent work was done in its service. His canon contains a unique mix of philosophical dramas and satirical comedies. The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964) presents the tragic conquest of Peru by the Spanish, while Black Comedy (1965) takes a humorous look at the antics of a group of characters feeling their way around a pitch black room — although the stage is actually flooded with light.[ citation needed ]
The Royal National Theatre in London, commonly known as the National Theatre (NT), is one of the United Kingdom's three most prominent publicly funded performing arts venues, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House. Internationally, it is known as the National Theatre of Great Britain.
The Royal Hunt of the Sun is a 1964 play by Peter Shaffer that dramatizes the relation of two worlds entering in a conflict by portraying two characters: Atahuallpa Inca and Francisco Pizarro.
Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.
Equus (1973) won Shaffer the 1975 Tony Award for Best Play as well as the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. A journey into the mind of a seventeen-year-old stable-boy who had plunged a spike into the eyes of six horses, Equus ran for over 1,000 performances on Broadway. It was revived by Massachusetts' Berkshire Theatre Festival in the summers of 2005 and 2007, by director Thea Sharrock at London's Gielgud Theatre in February 2007, and on Broadway (in the Sharrock staging) in September 2008. The latter production, which ran in New York until February 2009, required the stableboy to appear naked; its star, Daniel Radcliffe, was still associated with the Harry Potter films intended for general audiences, and this led to mild controversy.
Shaffer followed this success with Amadeus (1979) which won the Evening Standard Drama Award and the Theatre Critics' Award for the London production. This tells the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and court composer Antonio Salieri who, overcome with jealousy at hearing the "voice of God" coming from an "obscene child", sets out to destroy his rival. When the show moved to Broadway it won the 1981 Tony Award for Best Play and, like Equus, ran for more than a thousand performances.[ citation needed ]
After the success of Amadeus, Shaffer wrote the play Lettice and Lovage specifically for Dame Maggie Smith in 1986, for which he was nominated for another Tony Award and Dame Maggie Smith eventually won the Tony Award for best actress after three nominations in 1990. Lettice and Lovage also enabled Margaret Tyzack to win the award for best featured actress, and the production was nominated for best direction of a play, at the 1990 Tony Awards.[ citation needed ]
Several of Shaffer's plays have been adapted to film, including Five Finger Exercise (1962), The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969), The Public Eye (1962), from which he adapted the 1972 film Follow Me! (1972), Equus (1977), and Amadeus (1984), which won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture.
Shaffer received two Academy Award nominations for adapting his plays Equus and Amadeus for the big screen. For writing the screenplay for Equus, he was nominated for the 1977 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar but the award went to Alvin Sargent, who wrote the screenplay for Julia . For writing the screenplay for Amadeus, Shaffer received both the 1984 Best Screenplay Golden Globe and the 1984 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.
Shaffer was gay but did not write explicitly about it. His boyfriend Robert Leonard died in 1990.Shaffer died on June 6, 2016, at the age of ninety while on a trip to the south-west of Ireland.
He co-wrote three detective novels with his brother Anthony Shaffer under the pseudonym Peter Antony.
Shaffer received the William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre in 1992. Two years later he was appointed Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University.[ citation needed ]
In 1993 he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) by the University of Bath.
Shaffer's play, Five Finger Exercise won the Evening Standard Drama Award when it premiered in London and then won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play when it moved to New York City.
Shaffer's play, Equus won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Play and the New York Drama Critics' Circle that year as well.His screenplay adaptation of the play was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 1978.
Shaffer's play Amadeus won the Evening Standard Drama Award and the Theatre Critics' Award for its initial London production. Upon moving to Broadway, Amadeus won the 1981 Tony Award for Best Play.His screenplay adaptation of the play won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar as well as the Golden Globe Best Screenplay in 1984.
Shaffer's play Lettice and Lovage was nominated for another Tony Award, and for her performance in it, Dame Maggie Smith won the Tony Award for best actress after three nominations in 1990. Lettice and Lovage also won best supporting actress for Margaret Tyzack and was nominated for best direction of a play in 1990 Tony Awards.
Shaffer was appointed a CBE in 1987 and named Knight Bachelor in the 2001 New Year's Honours. In 2007 he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
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Amadeus is a play by Peter Shaffer, which gives a highly fictionalized account of the lives of the composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. First performed in 1979, Amadeus was inspired by a short 1830 play by Alexander Pushkin called Mozart and Salieri.
Thomas Edward Hulce is an American actor, singer and theater producer. As an actor, he is best known for his role as Larry "Pinto" Kroger in Animal House (1978), his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Amadeus (1984), and his role as Quasimodo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). Additional acting awards included four Golden Globe nominations, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. Hulce retired from acting in the mid-1990s to focus on stage directing and producing. In 2007, he won a Tony Award as a lead producer of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening.
Crimes of the Heart is a play by American playwright Beth Henley. It is set in Hazlehurst, Mississippi in the mid-20th century. The play won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. In 1986, the play was novelized and released as a book, written by Claudia Reilly.
The Tony Award for Best Play is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theatre, including musical theatre, honoring productions on Broadway in New York City. There was no award in the Tonys' first year. All My Sons has been incorrectly categorized as the Best Play of 1947, but it won the Best Author award for Arthur Miller. The following year Mister Roberts received the first Tony Award as Best Play. The award goes to the authors and the producers of the play.
Black Comedy is a one-act farce by Peter Shaffer, first performed in 1965.
Peter Macintosh Firth is an English actor. He is best known for his role as Sir Harry Pearce in the BBC One show Spooks; he is the only actor to have appeared in every episode of the show's ten-series lifespan. He has given myriad additional television and film performances, most notably as Alan Strang in Equus (1977), earning a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for the role.
Jeffrey Daniel Whitty is an American playwright, actor and screenwriter. For the stage musical Avenue Q, he won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. For the film Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018), he was nominated for BAFTA and Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, along with Nicole Holofcener.
Michael Ivan Cristofer is an American playwright, filmmaker and actor. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play for The Shadow Box in 1977.
Michael Howell Blakemore OBE is an Australian actor, writer and theatre director who has also made a handful of films. A former Associate Director of the National Theatre, in 2000 he became the only individual to win Tony Awards for best Director of a Play and Musical in the same year for Copenhagen and Kiss Me, Kate.
John Napier is a set designer for Broadway and London theatrical performances.
Emily Mann is a multi-award-winning director and playwright.
Tracy S. Letts is an American actor, playwright and screenwriter. He received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play August: Osage County and a Tony Award for his portrayal of George in the revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2013).
Murray Schisgal is an American playwright and screenwriter.
Nick Hern Books is a London-based independent specialist publisher of plays, theatre books and screenplays. The company was founded by the former Methuen drama editor Nicholas Hern in 1988.
Lettice and Lovage is a comedic and satire play by Peter Shaffer. It is centered around a flamboyant tour guide who loves to embellish the history behind an English country house and who butts heads with a fact-conscious official at the house. The play was written specifically for Maggie Smith, who originated the title role of Lettice Douffet in both the English and American runs of the production. The role of Lotte Schoen was played by Margaret Tyzack.
Anthony Powell is an English costume designer for stage and screen. He has won three Academy Awards, for Travels with My Aunt (1972), Death on the Nile (1978) and Tess (1979). He has worked with directors such as George Cukor, Roman Polanski, Steven Spielberg, Robert Altman and David Lean. Among the stars who have worn his creations are Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Angela Lansbury, Paul Newman, Bette Davis, Warren Beatty, Steve McQueen, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Roger Moore, Harrison Ford and Johnny Depp.
Morton Edgar Gottlieb was an American producer of Broadway theatre whose play Sleuth won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1971, in addition to three of his other plays that were nominated for the same award.
Steven Levenson is an American playwright and television writer. He won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen.
Sir Peter Shaffer, playwright, is 87
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