From gay row to a Beckett stage coup

Spoonface Steinberg: Lee Hall, the man would go onto write the smash hit Billy Elliot, launched his career with the radio play Spoonface Steinberg. Originally spoken by an 11-year-old actress, Becky Simpson, when Hall adapted the play for the stage it starred 42-year-old Kathryn Hunter.

Krapp’s Last Tape: Originally written for Patrick Magee, it was inspired by Beckett’s experience of listening to the Northern Irish actor reading extracts from his novel Molloy and From an Abandoned Work. The play originally premiered as a curtain raiser to Endgame in 1958.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise