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Sir Peter Shaffer 1926-2016


Swithin
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I'm deeply saddened to report the death of the great playwright Peter Shaffer. I worked with him several times and found his personality and charm to be equal to the supreme quality of his plays.  From Five Finger Exercise to  Equus to Amadeus and beyond, he was one of the great contemporary playwrights, exploring probing issues in his drama. He also was a worshipper of Shakespeare and Mozart.

 

528302133-peter-shaffer-attends-the-open

 

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/jun/06/peter-shaffer-equus-amadeus-playwright-dies-aged-90

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Coincidentally, TCM will be airing the 1977 film of Shaffer's Equus, at 2:00AM this coming Wednesday (June 8) as part of this month's stage-to-screen spotlight on the channel. 

 

Also coincidentally, Angela Lansbury and Dana Ivey are scheduled to do a one-night-only reading of Shaffer's Tony-nominated play Lettice and Lovage at The Acting Company on June 13. Playbill reports that the reading will go ahead as planned, and will be dedicated to Peter Shaffer. 

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I'm deeply saddened to report the death of the great playwright Peter Shaffer. I worked with him several times and found his personality and charm to be equal to the supreme quality of his plays.  From Five Finger Exercise to  Equus to Amadeus and beyond, he was one of the great contemporary playwrights, exploring probing issues in his drama. He also was a worshipper of Shakespeare and Mozart.

 

528302133-peter-shaffer-attends-the-open

 

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/jun/06/peter-shaffer-equus-amadeus-playwright-dies-aged-90

A great loss of an exceedingly erudite man and artist!

 

Thanks, Swithin for your memories and tribute.

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His twin brother Anthony, who died in 2001, also was an accomplished writer. Anthony Shaffer's 1970 Tony Award-winning play "Sleuth" became a motion picture two years later with Sir Laurence Olivier and Sir Michael Caine as the leads. Nominated for Best Picture, it turned out to be the last directorial effort by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The film was remade in 2007 with Caine and Jude Law.

 

Anthony Shaffer also wrote the screenplay for "Frenzy" (1972), the last film that Sir Alfred Hitchcock directed in the United Kingdom. He also wrote the 1972 cult film "The Wicker Man," which starred Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland and Shaffer's future wife Diane Cilento. It was remade in 2006 as a vehicle for Nicolas Cage.

 

27967873_127135934434.jpg

Anthony Shaffer (1926-2001)

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I've been hooked on Peter Shaffer's first play, "Five Finger Exercise", for a long, long time.

 

It told a spellbinding tale about a young man, who was working as a tutor and who had a tumultuous effect on all the members of the household.

 

Especially the wife and the son, who were pretty close to battling over him.

 

The film version, as intriguing as it was, more or less concentrated on the tutor's effect on the wife.

 

I was also fascinated with the inherent mystery of "Equus".

 

The last time that I saw it, I saw two very effective performances from Anthony Perkins and Thomas Hulce.

 

As a dramatist, he never repeated himself - he reached further and wider.

 

RIP, Mr. Shaffer, you will definitely be missed. 

 

 

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