Page extent: 360
ISBN: 9781786824295
Binding: Hardback

Peggy to her Playwrights

The Letters of Margaret Ramsay, Play Agent

Colin Chambers, Peggy Ramsay

Hardback (25 May 2018)

Peggy Ramsay (1908-1991) was the foremost play agent of her time. Her list of clients shows her to have been at the centre of British playwriting for several generations from the late 1950s on.

To her remarkable array of clients, her letter writing was notorious, marked by searing candour, both a wondrous motivation and an unforgiving scrutiny to be feared.

‘Peggy judged by the most exalted standards and lashed her writers when they failed to meet them. Her force of personality made her well-nigh irresistible. The letters she wrote to her writers and to producers are extraordinary documents, filled with all these qualities, and indiscreet, blasphemous and saucy to boot.’Simon Callow


Additional Information

ISBN13 9781786824295
Binding Hardback
Page Extent 360


"The single voice that sang – burned – most distinctively off the page was that of Peggy Ramsay, the inspired theatrical agent who died in 1991. Peggy to Her Playwrights is an exemplary selection. Edited by her biographer Colin Chambers, with a terrific introduction by her memoirist Simon Callow, it doesn’t have a dud note." The Observer, Best Books of 2018

"Success, as these letters bring forcefully home, was regarded by Ramsay as the enemy of the talent for which she had an unerring radar. Failure, on the other hand, was robustly embraced as good training. Always ready with an uplifting example, Ramsay reminded a chastened David Hare (following a concerned phone call about his first West End foray, Knuckle), that both Ibsen and Chekhov had experienced spectacular failure. As had Dostoevsky.

Irreverent, ardent and filled with solid practical advice on the art of writing plays, Ramsay’s letters are a splendid consolation prize for those of us unlucky enough never to have known this Queen of Agents... it’s a delicious read." Financial Times

"The writing style is gossipy and entertaining, which always helps, but the real value of this book lies in the insight that it gives into both the work of a play agent and the tips that any aspiring playwright will pick up about the pleasures and vicissitudes of their chosen career.

As such, Peggy to her Playwrights should be compulsory reading for any playwright, while the general reader will love the anecdotes and undoubtedly enjoy the opportunity to get into the mind of a precious but highly creative genius." British Theatre Guide

"She had the capability of shoring up her writers when times – and reviews – were bad... Failure, Ramsay believed, was as interesting and useful an experience for the writer as success. As an artist, you learnt by your failures and atrophied by your successes." The Stage 

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