Michael Billington’s The 101 Greatest Plays hasbeen described as ‘the essential companion to the greatest plays ever written’. In conversation with Stewart Collins he discusses his provocative and challenging new book, in which he offers his highly personal selection of the 101 greatest plays from the time of the Greeksto the present-day and in so doing poses an infinite number of questions: what makes a great play? Does the definition change with time and circumstance? Are certain common factors visible down the ages? Coming from Britain’s longest-serving theatre critic, his collection of essays is the product of a lifetime spent watching and reading plays and a record of the adventures of a one man amongst hundreds of masterpieces.
Michael Billington has been theatre critic of The Guardian since 1971 and of Country Life since 1986. He is the author of biographies of Harold Pinter and Peggy Ashcroft, of critical studies of Tom Stoppard and Alan Ayckbourn. He frequently lectures and broadcasts on the arts, teaches drama for the University of Pennsylvania and is a Visiting Professor at King’s College, London and an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford.