Dramatist Bryony Lavery has written prolifically since the 1970s, recently adapting Treasure Island for the National Theatre. Other works includeHer Aching Heart and Frozen, which won the TMA best new play award in 1998 and received four Tony nominations when it was produced on Broadway. Her work for BBC radio includes an adaptation of Angela Carter’s Wise Childrenand the Sony award-nominated No Joan of Arc. Lavery was artistic director of the Gay Sweatshop theatre company and founded feminist cabaret group Female Trouble. She is on the judging panel for the Bruntwood prize for playwriting, which is open for entries until 5 June.
Book: The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante
This is about a woman with two children whose husband announces that he’s leaving her. She really goes wild, exacting revenge and damage on everybody. Then she retrieves her sanity and loses her love for him, and it’s brilliantly savage.Elena Ferrante is a wonderful Italian writer; I’m halfway through My Brilliant Friend, about a long-term friendship between two women in Naples.