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Fat Chance Paperback – April, 1996

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Simon Gray was born in England in 1936 and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is the author of over 30 plays, including Butley (1971), Otherwise Engaged (1975), Quatermaine's Terms (1981), The Common Pursuit (1984), Cell Mates (1995) and Japes (2000) and has published several volumes of diaries and books about the theatre, including The Smoking Diaries published by Granta. He lives in London. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; First Edition edition (April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571177921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571177929
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,535,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By M. Palmer on January 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read the book because I've been a Stephen Fry fan for years and had not heard about the event the book describes. Gray writes clearly and beautifully, brings you with him into the theatre world as he tells his side of the story, with some (understandable) frustration but without recrimination. I intend to read more of Gray's work.
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Every one of British playwright Simon Gray's theatrical memoirs are great reading, but this one is special. It's about his play "Cell Mates" and how one actor, Stephen Fry, destroyed it by leaving not only the play. but England itself because of ONE review. He claimed not to read reviews, but there you go. You can never believe an actor.,
Gray's pen is dipped in acid wit and anger. One of the GREAT Theatrical memoirs of all time. I read it on an average of once a year, give it to friends, buy more copies. Pure gold for the stage aficionado. Gray tries to understand Fry, but Fry screwed up many people's lives and lost them all a lot of money simply because the British theater critics can often be stingingly bitchy. But Fry knew that going in! Gray lets him have it, with both barrels.
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I picked this book up as a fan of Stephen Fry and Rik Mayall who was curious to learn about the Cell Mates incident. Simon Gray's book is a well written and informative look at the process of play writing and theatre production. Although I chose this book to learn more about Stephen Fry, I was surprised at the kind of insight given by Gray about Fry and all the actors involved in the production. This is especially true in the case of Mayall, someone largely forgotten in the wake of the play's failure and is portrayed as vastly different than he appears to his fans. He is according to Gray highly emotional and uncomfortable being himself which is a stark contrast to his onscreen and onstage persona. i recommend this to anyone interested in the Cell Mates disaster, Stephen Fry and Rik Mayall.
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