David Edgar has been writing plays professionally since 1971. His original plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company include Destiny (1976); Maydays (1983, Plays and Players best play award) and Pentecost (1994, Evening Standard best play award), the second in a series of plays about Eastern Europe after the Cold War, following The Shape of the Table (National Theatre 1990) and preceding The Prisoner's Dilemma (RSC, 2001). In addition to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, his adaptations include plays based on the memoir Mary Barnes (Birmingham Rep, 1978); Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby (RSC, 1980, Olivier and New York Tony best play awards); Julian Barnes’s Arthur & George (Birmingham Rep, 2010) and Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (RSC, 2017).
His recent stage work includes Albert Speer (National Theatre, 2000); Playing with Fire (National Theatre, 2005); Testing the Echo (Out of Joint, 2008); Written on the Heart (RSC, 2011) and If Only (Chichester Festival Theatre, 2013). He has written for television and radio, and wrote the screenplay for Trevor Nunn’s 1986 film Lady Jane. In 1989, he founded Britain's first graduate playwriting course, at the University of Birmingham. His book about playwriting, How Plays Work, was published by Nick Hern Books in 2009. He was Humanitas visiting Professor of Drama at Oxford in 2014-15.
He writes regularly about art and politics for The Guardian and The London Review of Books.