In 1997 the 50-year-old playwright David Hare decided to visit the 50-year-old state of Israel and write a play - Via Dolorosa - about the conflict. He then chose to become the actor of his own play and set about learning to act the monologue for an uninterrupted 95 minutes on stage. Acting Up is a diary of the ups and downs of that learning curve as well as an insight into what it is actors, directors, producers and stage staff actually do in rehearsals. Hare's hilarious diary of his experience on both sides of the Atlantic tells of his difficulties in coming to terms with his terrifying change of career, but also grapples with more serious questions about the nature of acting itself.
David Hare is a playwright and filmmaker. His stage plays include Plenty, Pravda (with Howard Brenton) Racing Demon, Skylight, Amy's View, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens, South Downs, The Absence of War and The Judas Kiss. His films for cinema and television include Wetherby, The Hours, Damage, The Reader and the Worricker trilogy: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield. He has written English adaptations of plays by Pirandello, Chekhov, Brecht, Schnitzler, Lorca, Gorky and Ibsen. For fifteen years he was an Associate Director of the National Theatre.