n this personal chronicle, Sheridan Morley and Ruth Leon trace the history of the plays and the people who made the world of twentieth-century theatre. This is the story of our stage, of its actors, directors and dramatists, and of the most remarkable generation of classical player kings and queens that the world has ever known, from Olivier to Gielgud, by way of Redgrave, Richardson, Ashcroft, Thorndike and Evans, to the later generation of McKellen, Finney, Bates, Rigg and Smith. Informal and informative, A Century of Theatre highlights theatre events for each year, as well as providing a review of other events that year which changed drama history.
Ruth Leon writes and broadcasts about all the performing arts. She contributes regular broadcasts to BBC Radio Five Live, TalkRadio and specials to the BBC Radio Two Arts Programme as well as occasional broadcasts to many other radio and television outlets. As a journalist, she writes criticism, book reviews, and feature articles for such publications as The Times, (New York, Los Angeles, London) and BBC Music Magazine as well as the International Herald Tribune and she is New York Correspondent for Concorde Briefing. Born at Ascot in 1941, the elder son of Robert Morley and grandson of Dame Gladys Cooper, he graduated from Oxford with an honours degree in Modern Languages in 1963 and started his career as a newscaster with ITN from 1964 - 1967. From there he went on to host 'Late Night Line Up' with Joan Bakewell on BBC2 from 1967 - 1973, also presenting 'Film Night' every week and several other BBC2 arts specials. He joined the Times as an assistant editor before becoming drama critic and arts editor of 'Punch' 1975 - 1986. He is married to the critic and television producer Ruth Leon, has three children and lives in Chelsea. His stage plays include 'Noel and Gertie', 'Spread a Little Happiness' and 'If Love Were All'. Other publications include 'The Theatrical Companion to Coward' and 'A Talent to Amuse' (a biography of Noel Coward), as well as biographies of David Niven, James Mason; Audrey Hepburn, Gladys Cooper, Robert Morley, Oscar Wilde, Katherine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Sybil Thorndike, Gertrude Lawrence and Elizabeth Taylor.