11 August, 2008

Co-authors at war over Chekhov play

The Independent:

"A delightful row which has been simmering in London's Theatreland for the past six months has now finally gone right off.

The bitter dispute is between the award-winning playwright Diane Samuels and the actress Tracy Ann Oberman, best known for her role as Dirty Den's wife in EastEnders.

At issue is a reworking of Chekhov's Three Sisters, re-named 3 Sisters on Hope Street, which was greeted with rave reviews when it was staged earlier this year at the Hampstead Theatre.

Both women are named as co-writers on the play. Samuels, however, is furious after Oberman, in a recent interview on Radio 4's Midweek, failed to credit her. It's just the latest in a long line of appearances in which, Samuels claims, Oberman has tried to claim the play as her own."

"Tracy's done television and newspapers and I've just stood back and let it happen. I've seen Tracy on television talking about how she wrote 3 Sisters, and I've kept my mouth closed for months. I just can't let that continue any longer," Samuels tells today's Jewish Chronicle. "I'm the primary author of the piece... She didn't write a word of the first draft."

Samuels' reaction has prompted Oberman to call in her lawyers. In a written statement, she says: "3 Sisters on Hope Street is a co-written piece and any misunderstanding would be unfortunate and not intended by any parties involved on Midweek."

Article in full

1 comment:

Bingethink said...

Surely Chekov is the primary author of the piece...?