Directed by Barry Satchwell Smith*
Music by Jack Ramsey
Public Servants rips open the dossier on the secret intel and dangerous backroom intrigue that eventually led to Winston Churchill’s rise to power and engagement in World War II. This tense drama chronicles the lives of the government workers who risked all to ensure Britain’s safety as the shadow of Nazi Germany begins to spread across the continent.
From the Playwright:
I am deeply indebted, as are a great many people, to my friend and colleague, Hugh Whitemore, for bringing Ralph Wigram to prominence in his brilliant screenplay of The Gathering Stormabout Winston Churchill’s wilderness years. Before embarking on the writing of this play, I discussed the theme with him and it was he who pointed me towards the extraordinary figure of Desmond Morton. Not surprisingly, given Hugh’s customary generosity, he offered me unconditional encouragement for which I now thank him.
I want also to draw attention to two principle sources used in my research: In Search of Churchill by Martin Gilbert andChurchill’s Man of Mystery, Desmond Morton and the World of Intelligence by Gill Bennett. Both authors, however, may not be best pleased with my interpretation of the people about whom they write but I should make clear that Public Servants is not a documentary but what I like to think of as a history play following, albeit haltingly, in the footsteps of a rich tradition led by the great masters of the genre, Shakespeare and Schiller. Although I have observed the main facts of Ralph Wigram’s story and many details pertaining to him, his wife and other characters, I have also invented and imagined without restraint.
About the Playwright:
RONALD HARWOOD (Playwright) Ronald Harwood’s many plays include The Dresser, Taking Sides, Quartet, Mahler’s Conversion, An English Tragedy and Collaboration.
His films include The Dresser(Academy Award Nomination for Best Screenplay), Taking Sides (XXIX Flaiano Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay), The Pianist (Palme d’Or, 2002 Cannes Film Festival and 2003 BAFTA for Best Film), Being Julia, Oliver Twist, and most recently The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (winner of the 2008 BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay, Academy Award Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and Humanitas Prize 2008, Writers’ Guild Award for Best Screenplay, Prix Jacques Prevert du Scenario 2008), and Love in the Time of Cholera.
Ronald Harwood’s awards for The Pianist include the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay 2003, the National Society of Film Critics’ Award for Best Screenplay and the Founders’ Award from the Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking. He was also nominated for a BAFTA (Best Adapted Screenplay) and a César (Best Screenplay).
He was made Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1974 and was Visitor in Theatre at Balliol College, Oxford in 1985. He was President of English PEN, 1989-1993, President of International PEN, 1993-97, and Chairman of the Royal Society of Literature. In 1996 he was appointed Chevalier de l’ordre National des Arts et des Lettres. In 1999, he was appointed a CBE. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Keele University in 2002. He is President of the Royal Literary Fund 2005-present. He was made an Honorary Fellow of Central School of Speech and Drama in 2006. He was knighted for Services to Drama in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday honours list.