Games, Alexander 1963-
GAMES, Alexander 1963-
PERSONAL: Born March 20, 1963, in London, England. Education: Pembroke College, Cambridge, B.A., 1985.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Janklow & Nesbit Ltd., 29 Adam & Eve Mews, London W8 6UG, England.
CAREER: Writer. Journalist for Financial Times, Independent on Sunday, and Evening Standard, among others.
Man Ray, Parkstone Press, 1999.
Pete and Dud: An Illustrated Biography, Deutsch (London, England), 1999.
Backing into the Limelight: The Biography of AlanBennett, Hodder Headline (London, England), 2001.
(Editor) The Essential Spike Milligan, 4th Estate (London, England), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: In Backing into the Limelight: The Biography of Alan Bennett, British journalist Alexander Games recounts the life of one of England's most prominent playwrights. Although Bennett is "an obsessively private man" with an aversion to the press, according to a writer for the London Independent, Games manages to unearth much personal detail in the first biography to have been written about the popular writer. He especially uncovered new information about Bennett's early life in Leeds, where his father was a butcher, and located his first published work, a humorous play in his school magazine.
Bennett has been writing plays for television and the stage for over forty years. Marked by humor and a nostalgic depiction of the northern England of his youth, the plays have been enormously successful with audiences while less so with critics. Peter Preston in the London Observer found that Bennett's best work has been for television: "His dry, understated observations of extraordinary ordinary life fit the medium precisely." Games gives plot summaries for all of Bennett's major works and a sampling of the critical reaction they have received. He also draws on published accounts, including interviews done by Bennett before his dismissal of the press some years ago, to recount the playwright's prolific career.
While much of Bennett's private life, including his sexual relationships, has often been the subject of speculation in the British tabloids, little verifiable information is known. Games manages to document some of Bennett's relationships, with both men and women, while arguing that everything his faithful audience really needs to know can be found in his works. David Sexton in the Evening Standard concluded that Games performs admirably as an "industrious biographer."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Birmingham Post, December 16, 2000, Simon Evans, "Tears for a Clown," p. 52; October 6, 2001, Michael Emery, review of Backing into the Limelight: The Biography of Alan Bennett, p. 52.
Daily Telegraph, September 8, 2001, Will Cohu, review of Backing into the Limelight.
Evening Standard (London, England), September 24, 2001, David Sexton, review of Backing into the Limelight, p. 46.
Independent (London, England), September 8, 2001, review of Backing into the Limelight, p. 10; June 15, 2002, Christopher Hirst, review of Backing into the Limelight, p. 41.
New Statesman, September 17, 2001, Adam Newey, review of Backing into the Limelight, p. 53.
Observer (London, England), September 2, 2001, Peter Preston, review of Backing into the Limelight, p. 15.