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Journal of the Plague Year

Journal of the Plague Year

By Max Stafford-Clark
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781848421790, 192 pages, August 2014


One March morning, out of the blue, Max Stafford-Clark learned that the Arts Council had drastically cut their grant to his theatre company, Out of Joint, leaving it in danger of imminent collapse. Journal of the Plague Year is his account of what happened next, as he sets out to contest the cut, make the case for public funding of the arts, and continue producing the work for which he and his company are renowned.

Max's journal often takes on an autobiographical flavour, including the unexpectedly moving story of his two fathers, his surreal encounter with the New York theatre world, and the shocking details of what it is to suffer a massively debilitating stroke.

By turns funny, alarming and deeply personal, Journal of the Plague Year offers a fascinating exposé of the often Kafkaesque workings of arts subsidy in England, and the financial and artistic manoeuvrings which are a fact of life for every arts organisation today. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the state of our arts, from students to theatregoers, and from struggling arts workers right up to the Secretary of State for Culture.

To listen to Max Stafford-Clark discuss the book with the Royal Court Theatre's Literary Manager Christopher Campbell, click here.

To read an extract from the book on the Guardian's website, click here.