In 1970 David Hare’s take on sisterhood, Slag, launched his prolific and stellar career as a playwright prepared to rigorously engage with the times. Since then his plays have included Pravda, a Fleet Street satire, Skylight, a Thatcherite critique currently on revival on Broadway, and Stuff Happens, about the Iraq War. Theatre aside, Hare has written a swag of material for the screen, and received Academy Award nominations for adaptations of The Hours and The Reader. His memoir The Blue Touch Paper (a reference to the instructions on British fireworks) is currently attracting praise for its unvarnished elegance and insight. One of Britain’s finest dramatists talks with Simon Wilson about his life, theatrical daring, and the formative cultural development which went on in Britain in the 1960s and 70s.