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Joan Didion The Year of Magical Thinking

The National Theatre of Great Britain

Guest performance of Lyttelton Theatre, National Theatre, London
In English

Originally produced on Broadway by
Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind, Debra Black, Daryl Roth,
The Shubert Organization


  • 11 August 2008, 19:30


  • 12 August 2008, 19:30
  • 13 August 2008, 19:30

Print programme (PDF)


David Hare, Stage director
Bob Crowley, Sets
Ann Roth, Costumes
Jean Kalman, Lighting
Paul Arditti, Sound


Vanessa Redgrave,


With The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), the American writer and essayist Joan Didion impressed audiences and critics worldwide. Written within a few weeks, the book describes the shock that the sudden death of Didion's husband caused her. For forty years, she had lived with the writer John Gregory Dunne in a symbiotic relationship filled with love and respect. The Year of Magical Thinking is the attempt to grasp the phenomenon of death, a moving study of grief and memory.

After initial doubts, Didion accepted Scott Rudin's suggestion of adapting the book for the stage. "I think we all felt that what was going to make the thing work was a degree of emotional intensity. The one person onstage has to transmit her intensity directly to the audience.” In Vanessa Redgrave, they found the ideal performer.

The British dramatist, script-writer and director David Hare directed the production, which had its premiere in March of 2007 in New York.