The Terrorist, by Garry O’Connor

The late 1960s. Celebrity playwright Oliver Lindall has assembled his team of players for the premiere of his new play When Winter Comes. For the author, first-night nerves won’t be his only obstacle. Among his troupe is Simon Baird, chosen for his acting skills, yet known for his reputation. Baird has brooding class resentments and is as likely to wreak destruction as shine in any new production. When the play finally premieres, we still don’t know what it will be: more plaudits for Oliver Lindall, or chaos at the hands of the hugely talented, mercurial Simon Baird? In the climax of O’Connor’s The Terrorist we are delivered not only a verdict, but one further question: who actually owns the finished production – the playwright, the players, or the audience played to? Simon Baird has his answer, and demonstrates it graphically.

‘A gem.’ Publishers Weekly on Garry O’Connor’s William Shakespeare: a Life

‘A fascinating biographical study of a stellar acting career – including the secrets that lie behind it.’ Simon Callow on Garry O’Connor’s recent biography of Ian McKellen

‘Garry writes a racy, opinionated and very readable account of life and loves in the English theatre since the 1960s, based often on his own experiences…’ Bamber Gascoigne

‘…an unusual and absorbing book…. I really felt you knew the wiles and shenanigans that go on behind the scenes. Mad, troubling, desperate and funny – I fell around with laughter when poor Oliver got locked in that office. And of course in Simon you’ve created a memorable monster. I thought of several such – Williamson, who drove poor Terry Hands mad by botching his lines as Lear, Harris, Burton perhaps, possibly the rather nice and very self-questioning Hopkins, but above all Oliver Reed, who once threatened someone I knew with a shotgun and drank for England, Scotland and both bits of Ireland. However, Simon is a character in his own right!’ Benedict Nightingale

The Terrorist is available for pre-order at the following online retailers:

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