ANTHONY SHAFFER SLEUTH PDF

Share via Email Anthony Shaffer , who has died aged 75, called his thriller Sleuth "the main event" - and he could never escape it. That "who, what and how done it" tale provided the playwright with a secure place in the theatre and film history of the s. It opened - for a fortnight - in January at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, won a prolonged standing ovation and was promptly labelled a "piece of piss" by Sir Laurence Olivier. Once in the West End, Sleuth played for 2, performances, and, playing for more than 2, performances on Broadway, won a Tony Award as the best play of

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Nigel Fountain Published on Thu 8 Nov It opened - for a fortnight - in January at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, won a prolonged standing ovation and was promptly labelled a "piece of piss" by Sir Laurence Olivier. Once in the West End, Sleuth played for 2, performances, and, playing for more than 2, performances on Broadway, won a Tony Award as the best play of Two years later, it was turned into a movie, directed by Joseph Mankiewicz. Its stars were Michael Caine, as the younger man, Milo Tindle, and Olivier himself, that acerbic Brighton critic, in the role of the scheming Andrew Wyke.

Shaffer was the right man to provide great waves of acting. Sleuth has washed around the world; in some distant clime the play is probably being performed, even now.

It is an ideal vehicle for actors growing into a certain age and gravitas - Anthony Quayle was the first Wyke, and Peter Bowles was grappling with the part by the end of the s - and with its smart youth versus wily, malevolent old age theme, it both teases and reassures.

Audiences, said Shaffer, would have to be pretty dull dogs not to enjoy it. And then there were the films. The setting was a Scottish island lairded over by Christopher Lee - and it was reputedly his favourite script.

Perhaps it was the spirit of the age; there was something of the hippy ethic hanging over the production, even down to the colour. Born in Liverpool, where his parents quickly introduced him to the Playhouse, Shaffer was the son of a Jewish estate agent. There followed what An- thony called in his forthcoming autobiography, So What Did You Expect, "three years of unrelieved hell" as a Bevin boy in the Kent coalfield.

In , he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read law and co-wrote detective stories with his brother. In , he joined a divorce chambers in the Middle Temple, and practised as a barrister. But, by the end of the s, Shaffer had experimented with LSD and found that the appeal of advertising had palled.

He quit to write; the result was Sleuth. More films followed: Absolution had Richard Burton as a Catholic priest-cum-teacher. But Sleuth was always there, and he was irritated when it was dismissed as just entertainment. His third wife, the actor Diane Cilento, survives him, as do two daughters from his second marriage.

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Anthony Shaffer

Nigel Fountain Published on Thu 8 Nov It opened - for a fortnight - in January at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, won a prolonged standing ovation and was promptly labelled a "piece of piss" by Sir Laurence Olivier. Once in the West End, Sleuth played for 2, performances, and, playing for more than 2, performances on Broadway, won a Tony Award as the best play of Two years later, it was turned into a movie, directed by Joseph Mankiewicz. Its stars were Michael Caine, as the younger man, Milo Tindle, and Olivier himself, that acerbic Brighton critic, in the role of the scheming Andrew Wyke. Shaffer was the right man to provide great waves of acting. Sleuth has washed around the world; in some distant clime the play is probably being performed, even now.

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