Peter Shaffer

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Peter Shaffer

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dec 22, 2007, 1:45 pm

I saw Amadeus earlier this year and realized that Peter Shaffer (touchstone not working) has to be counted one of my favorite playwrights. I picked up the script at The Drama Book Shop when I was last in NYC, and now I wish I could get my hands on all six versions of the script as he lists them in the preface so that I could study the differences. I'm picturing a big, hardback definitive edition- if a version was only different from another by a couple of rewritten scenes, they could be included as appendices, of course. I doubt it will ever happen, but I can dream. Ray Bradbury completely spoiled me by including the material he added in his script of Fahrenheit 451 in the afterword of some editions.

Equus isn't in my library, but I've read that as well. I didn't feel the need to keep it, though. Plays are really meant to be watched whenever possible, and the film version of Equus is faithful enough to the play that my DVD should be sufficient. It's when there isn't a movie that does justice to the play (and although the film of Amadeus is good in its way, much like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, they threw out the monologues and the point with them) that I feel the need to read the script in between whatever productions I can manage to see.

So, has anybody read or seen Shaffer's works apart from these two? If I get the chance to read them (more likely than the chance to see them), should I?

dec 22, 2007, 4:47 pm

I definitely think his plays are worth reading... Check out Royal Hunt of the Sun.

I'm not a Shaffer expert but I've read a few of his plays and really enjoy them. I've noticed that his plays seem to deal with the destruction of a deity.

I've never seen any on stage but I was in a production of Amadeus that mixed the scripts up a bit and did some interesting things incorporating Mozart's music into the show.

jun 26, 2016, 11:46 pm

Old thread but
R.I.P. Peter Shaffer