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Skylight

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  374 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Skylight premiered at the National Theatre in 1995 and then went on to become one of the most internationally successful plays of recent years.

This is the definitive edition of Skylight.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published July 13th 1995 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Amanda
Aug 31, 2016 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
After I saw this performed by Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy (streamed in the movie theaters), I knew I needed to read this play because the script was absolutely fantastic! Over the course of the play, Kyra and Tom go from bluffing about their lives and their pasts to being forced to confront the truth by each other. All the clues and hints at the truth are buried in the dialogue, which neither of them fail to pick up on. This play tackles such topics like, grief, cancer, class struggles, genera ...more
Carac Allison
Aug 23, 2014 Carac Allison rated it it was amazing
If you're considering reading a David Hare play and don't know what title to start with, allow me to recommend "Skylight". If you find the pace tedious and the slow revelation boring then you likely won't appreciate any of his other works. But if you find the subtle exploration of how a younger woman can have been a friend to a dying woman, a lover to her husband and now a surrogate older sister to that man's child, then you will become a fan of Hare's tenderness and humor.

C
Cally Lines
Sep 04, 2014 Cally Lines rated it it was amazing
I'm so taken with this play! I was completely blown away by this year's West End revival but because it's a fast and dialogue-packed couple of hours I found I could only remember a few quotes and I desperately wanted to remember it all, to relive it almost immediately, so I snapped up the text quickly and delightedly stepped back into David Hare's world.

This play is sharp, pithy, moving, and wonderfully funny. For me, the play's strength lies with its unbiased approach to its two leading charact
...more
Mark Valentine
Jul 19, 2016 Mark Valentine rated it it was amazing
This is Kyra's play; she is the only character of the three who is on stage for the entire play and she is the hub, the center, the core of the narrative arc--it all passes through her--both father and also son. She also controls the ending. Her words seal the closure of the play; thus, when the lights come up, her words (even if sotto voce) resonate the hall.

For Tom, the father, playwright Hare treats as the dinosaur, the Old Guard, the last of the exploiters. His capitalism, his greed, his con
...more
Lorie Eckert
Jul 08, 2015 Lorie Eckert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the play, Skylight, Tom Sergeant and Kyra Hollis are estranged lovers who are thrashing things out after a separation of several years. Kyra left Tom when his wife, Alice, found out about the affair. Prior to that revelation, Kyra had been close with Tom and Alice and with their children. During the years of Tom and Kyra's separation, Alice became ill with - and died from - cancer. At the play's opening, Alice has been dead for a year.

I saw this play performed on Broadway and wanted to read
...more
Hamed
Jul 26, 2016 Hamed rated it really liked it
Nothing could be more difficult than elaborating on the very complex human emotions and relationships. A complexity which masterfully has been put to the words in this intense, breathtaking and powerful play.
Md Estigoy
I have seen the broadcasted 2014 version of NT Live with Carey Mulligan as Kyra Hollis and Bill Nighy as Tom Sargeant, twice. Yes, Twice. And if not for a limited release, I might have seen it twice or maybe three times more. Yes, I was that captivated by this brilliant play. (From here, I'll blame Mulligan for the reason for me to have some of the best happenstance discoveries that I had, no kidding *cough* Mumford & Sons, Doctor Who, and this fucking play. Whoops, my apologies for the digr ...more
Nicola
Oct 24, 2015 Nicola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Hare expertly captures all of the nuances and complications of class, gender, politics and even generation gaps in the reunion of estranged lovers Tom and Kyra in Skylight.

Not to mention his wonderful meditations on death, grief and forgiveness.

I love when a playwright isn't afraid to fully portray their politics in their writing, and Skylight packs a wonderful liberal punch! I could read Kyra's socially conscious monologues all day and only wish I could ever be so articulate.
Jessica Bell
Aug 07, 2015 Jessica Bell rated it really liked it
Like Ian McEwan's 'Atonement', there is a strong, almost Grecian sense of fate in 'Skylight'; the discovery of a love letter, an affair exposed, the mistress gone and the wife's tragic death from cancer. A stony father and an orphaned son. Three years after these events, in the afternoon, the evening and then the morning, the ex-mistress, Kyra Hollis, is visited by both the father, Tom Sergeant, and the son, Edward Sergeant, both of whom are seeking help.

'Skylight' is slightly fantastical again
...more
ReneeS
Dec 19, 2015 ReneeS rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Nejdřív jsem viděla Skylight na jevišti, až pak jsem vzala do ruky knížku. Trochu jsem se bála, že mám přehnaně vysoká očekávání. Hra byla skvělá, jen jsem si nebyla jistá, jestli to přičíst obsazení anebo předloze. Teď už vím, že odpověď je obsazení i předloze. Je sice faktem, že jsem si při čtení jen velmi obtížně představovala jinou ustřední dvojici než Carey Mulligan a Billa Nighyho (dřív jsem si myslela, že si Toma upravil k obrazu svému, jenomže on je přesně takový i na stránkách knihy), a ...more
Brendan Monroe
Nov 08, 2015 Brendan Monroe rated it it was amazing
One of the best modern plays I've seen - also a great read!

"Skylight" is a positively Shakespearean play, in the sense that almost everything depends on the direction and performances. Is it well written? Absolutely. But certain lines, particularly in the final act, can come off sounding somewhat absurd in the wrong actor's mouth. Writer David Hare gives his lead female character, Kyra Hollis, a quite lengthy political speech that, in the wrong actress' hands could come off as far more of a rant
...more
Jillian
Sep 12, 2014 Jillian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, romance
Incredible. I loved Kyra, home-wrecker though she may be. Her rant about selfish people trying to knock down what social workers, probation officers, etc. do was incredible. I hear cynical remarks about even volunteering by people trying to project their guilt over not giving more, and it makes me crazed. Everyone wants to find a flaw in anyone who makes them feel the slightest bit insecure, and Tom sure tries really, really hard to prove he's a good guy. Sadly, I think Kyra would have accepted ...more
Kukkik W
Sep 24, 2016 Kukkik W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an extraordinary play, and one of the most believable I've ever read. The dialogue captured my attention the whole way through, remarkably witty yet, again, intensely real. It shows how people are just people, nobody's motives are entirely good or bad, and that they are just doing the best with what they have. I find my empathy for each character constantly going back and forth throughout the play, at the end it became such a jumbled confused messed that it made me cry. And I consider a ...more
Yvette Yu
Nov 21, 2015 Yvette Yu rated it really liked it
saw the NT live play first and then read the screenplay. It feels sooooo different watching the play and reading the screenplay. I would've never laughed so much for just reading the book. The actors/actress definitely had a good performance. But it doesnt mean the book is not good. The lines are very interesting. the story is a bit sad but the ending is surprising but sweet. most importantly, the characters are very well done and so much likable, even the "business man" Tom, because they are so ...more
Emilia
Jan 02, 2015 Emilia rated it it was amazing
After first discovering that this play took place in only one room and that there were only three characters in the whole play, I wondered whether there was even any point in starting. However, as I read on, I was drawn into the simplicity of the structure and its ability to draw in such complicated themes including class divide, sexism and so on. I have to say that this play is a must-read, or a must-see, especially if you are looking for something with meaning and heart in what it expresses.
Jasper
Jul 24, 2016 Jasper rated it liked it
Read this cos one of my local theatre here performing the play. So i'm kinda curious of how the original script is written, since the theatre has make the play into our own language and culture.

The play is pretty good at addressing people 's own POV of LOVE/ LIFE/ MORAL and sorts. Although the length of the play is pretty short, it stirs up many philosophical questions that allow us to think.
Yu-Hui Huang
Sep 15, 2016 Yu-Hui Huang rated it it was amazing
I read this play about 20 years ago. At that time I was not very much impressed, owing to my personal ignorance as well as my poor imagination. Recently, because of its revival (National Theatre Live is touring to Taipei), I turned the pages again and found I couldn't put it down. Isn't it amazing that all the problems Mr. Hare saw when he penned this work haven't changed a bit these days?
Susan
Aug 15, 2014 Susan marked it as to-read
Shelves: bh-library-book
PR6058.A678 S5 1995
Head Butler recommendation: First, I have to convince you that you should push everything else off your night table and read a 96-page play that won David Hare a shelf of awards in 1995. No, first I have to convince you that what scorched London and New York in 1995 is relevant in 2014. Start here. A new production is scorching London — I’ve never seen Ben Brantley, in The New York Times, praise a play quite like this. The play may come to New York with the London cast (Bill
...more
Isobel
Jul 27, 2015 Isobel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, read-in-2015
Gorgeous, moving, so beautifully contemplative. What this play does so well is the exploration of the layers and layers of long-standing relationships between people, and the tensions and feelings of loss or betrayal that can so often come as a result. It was a heart breaking read, but very much worth reading and taking your time over.
Richard Smith
Sep 14, 2014 Richard Smith rated it it was amazing
I saw this play with Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan last week, not at the theatre but on film.It made a powerful impact on me, and I wanted to revisit some of the speeches; so I downloaded it and read it all the way through. I recommend doing this when taken with a play. I've done it once or twice before, usually with Shakespeare.
Jim
Dec 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jim by: Grace
Character driven play that builds slowly and powerfully. The reader's attraction shifts between the two main characters, although my sympathies were primarily with Kyra.
The ending bookends perhaps too neatly with the beginning.
I look forward to the local production I will be seeing this coming February.
Jason
Jun 27, 2015 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not what I expected at all. I was thinking this was going to be one of those quiet, contemplative relationship plays. I was not prepared for the yelling and the raw emotion that leap off the page of this exceptional script. A wonderfully taut relationship drama!
Anita Carter
Apr 21, 2015 Anita Carter rated it really liked it
Having seen this performed by Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy last year I very much enjoyed reading it. Favourite line? "They either want you or they don't. Listening is half way to begging"
Jonathan
May 08, 2016 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2016
A superb meditation on love in the romantic, surrogate, and familial senses. The dialogue is drinkable; the characters, layered. I love love love this play.
Kimberly
Mar 13, 2016 Kimberly rated it really liked it
When a play is written well it flows and the reader can see the play unfolding in their mind and easily follow the story. This play was written well.
Emjy
Apr 26, 2014 Emjy rated it really liked it
Pièce émouvante, subtile et sensible. Je vois parfaitement Carey Mulligan et Bill Nighy, qui la joueront cet été à Londres, dans les rôles principaux.
Hannah Brown
Mar 17, 2016 Hannah Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5
Not only written well, but it had such a lot of really good symbolism. Prompted lots of discussions with my friend! I would love to see it.
Emma
Mar 27, 2015 Emma rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
I love the way information is revealed in this play. It makes me want to act in well written plays.
Laurochka
Jun 09, 2012 Laurochka rated it it was amazing
"You give them an environment where they feel they can grow. But also make bloody sure you challenge them. You make sure they realise learning is hard. Because if you don’t, if you only make it a safe haven, if it’s all clap-happy, and ‘everything the kids do is great’, then what are you creating? Emotional toffees, who’ve actually learnt nothing, but who then have to go back and face the real world … Find that balance, it stretches you, it stretches you as far as you’ll go."
Simon Fletcher
Jun 28, 2016 Simon Fletcher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
David Hare remains one of the UK's finest playwrites and dramatists. His work is diverse, ranging from the politcal satire of Stuff Happens to the meditative Via Dolorosa. This though is a much smaller piece looking at relationships and the cost to the individuals involved.
Not his best work though as the final scene did not to me seem to fit with the rest of the piece and left me slightly bemused.
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Sir David Hare (born 5 June 1947) is an English playwright, screenwriter and theatre and film director. Most notable for his stage work, Hare has also enjoyed great success with films, receiving two Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing The Hours in 2002, based on the novel written by Michael Cunningham, and The Reader in 2008, based on the novel of the same name writte ...more
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“You give them an environment where they feel they can grow. But also make bloody sure you challenge them. You make sure they realise learning is hard. Because if you don’t, if you only make it a safe haven, if it’s all clap-happy, and ‘everything the kids do is great’, then what are you creating? Emotional toffees, who’ve actually learnt nothing, but who then have to go back and face the real world … Find that balance, it stretches you, it stretches you as far as you’ll go.” 6 likes
“If you like judging, please: be a lawyer. Run a dog show. There’s a whole lot of jobs if judging is your passion in life. But take my advice: if you want to be happy, keep your judging professional. And don’t start putting in practice at home.” 2 likes
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