David Hare’s One-Man Play ‘Beat the Devil’ About His COVID Experience to Be Staged in London

Hare says he caught coronavirus from “Roadkill” director Michael Keillor while editing upcoming Hugh Laurie series

Last Updated: July 29, 2020 @ 12:18 PM

Sir David Hare has recovered from the coronavirus and is back to work. Among the gigs on his busy schedule are upcoming PBS Masterpiece series “Roadkill,” starring Hugh Laurie, and a one-man stage show about Hare’s personal experience with COVID-19, titled “Beat the Devil.”

“I’ve written a monologue and it’s purely about my own experience of the illness. I got the illness very, very early. And I got it — it’s no secret — from the [‘Roadkill’] director. I was in a cutting room with the director. He got it, then I got it. Michael Keillor got it, I got it.” Hare said on Wednesday. “So I’ve written a monologue, which is going to be performed in a London theater when London theaters are allowed to reopen.”

Hare said he cannot disclose who will play him in the show or in which London theater it will be held until the government allows for such productions to take place. His “hope” is for the end of August.

Hare’s remarks came Wednesday during virtual PBS’ press tour day. He and Laurie were promoting “Roadkill” at the time. Towards the end of their panel, Hare was asked by a reporter if he found the coronavirus pandemic to be “fertile for drama,” and if so, how would he approach the subject.

Toward the end of his response, Hare called the coronavirus a “quite extraordinary disease.”

“I don’t think anyone who has not it had it [can] quite understand how extraordinarily unpredictable it is — not just on a daily, but almost an hourly basis,” Hare said.

PBS’ press tour — a substitution for this summer’s canceled TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour — started on Tuesday. It will wrap up on Thursday.

The four-episode “Roadkill” premieres Nov. 1 at 9/8c on PBS. Here is the series’ logline:

Politician Peter Laurence’s (Laurie) private life is falling apart. Shamelessly untroubled by guilt or remorse, he seeks to further his own agenda whilst others plot to bring him down. Can he out-run his own secrets to win the ultimate prize?

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