In 1991, before an election they did not expect to win, the Conservative government made a fateful decision to privatize the railways. As a result, the taxpayer subsidizes rail more lavishly then ever before. In The Permanent Way, David Hare, working with actors from the Out of Joint Company, tells the intricate, madcap story of a dream gone sour, by gathering together the first-hand accounts of those most intimately involved - from every level of the system.
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When, in 2000, the National Theatre published its poll of the hundred best plays of the 20th century, David Hare had written five of them. Yet he was born in 1947 into an anonymous suburban street in Hastings. It is a world he believes to be as completely vanished as Victorian England. Now in his first panoramic work of memoir, ending as Margaret…
'A drama that stirs indignation and pity in equal measure, political theatre that transcends the old conflicts between Right and Left to condemn the whole mindset and attitudes of those allegedly running our nation's affairs. It is, by a mile, the most significant and revealing new play of the year. If you want to understand why Britain isn't working, you need to see The Permanent Way.' Daily Telegraph
'A compelling, fast-moving and astringently witty collage of first-hand testimonies and conflicting points of view... The picture that emerges with great force from these vivid, eloquently juxtaposed vignettes is of a debased culture that sets less store by the expertise that comes from intimate knowledge of a subject than by vacuous so-called management skills.' Independent
'A vitally necessary piece of theatre.' Guardian