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Stephen Poliakoff on Stage and Screen

Robin Nelson

DOI: 10.5040/9781408166703

ISBN: 9781408131084

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Over four decades, Stephen Poliakoff has proved himself to be a distinctive dramatist in the mediums of theatre, film and television. Moving from playwright to television and film director, he has been hailed as 'TV's foremost writer' (Independent) and as 'one of our most poetic and best TV dramatists' (Daily Telegraph). In the USA, his TV 'films' have received industry acclaim, The Lost Prince winning three Emmy Awards and Gideon's Daughter two Golden Globes.

This book is the first to offer a comprehensive overview of Poliakoff's work for stage and screen and a framework for its critical evaluation. It will prove invaluable to students of theatre, film, and television studies. Robin Nelson locates Poliakoff's distinctive vision and fierce independence as a writer and director in both personal and public histories and against industry contexts. He charts Poliakoff's 'meteoric rise' as a playwright, and his 'second starburst' in television drama since Shooting the Past (1999) which re-affirmed his reputation as a dramatist of distinction.

While the chronology of Poliakoff's impressive output is clearly laid out, works are discussed in thematic clusters ranging across mediums to afford a fresh perspective. The book covers 'issue dramas', 'quirky strong women' and 'histories/memories' as well as Poliakoff's early developing dramaturgy, and it examines in detail the later feature films and television dramas which have secured his reputation as our most distinctive television dramatist.

Robin Nelson respects his subject and his readers. The outcome is a wonderfully accessible book that makes a convincing case that Poliakoff's 40-year career demands our attention in this media- saturated age. Studies in Theatre and Performance June 2012. Vol 32 Issue 2

Robin Nelson's book on Stephen Poliakoff offers the first comprehensive overview of the work of one of Britain's most prolific dramatic auteurs... Combining insightful and well-contextualized observations about Poliakoff's works with a good deal of historical research, the book should be widely welcomed as the definitive critical guide to Poliakoff. Journal of Screenwriting, February 2012, Vol 3 Issue 2