Adapted from the novel of the same name, which won the 2015 Quagga Prize for Literary
Fiction, Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize? is a satire on the London literary life
of the early 1990s. Its two main characters are Marshall Zob, a well-known contemporary
English novelist, and his agent Cornelius Snell.
Zob’s main professional frustration is that, although frequently shortlisted for
the Booker Prize, he has never actually won it. In the course of the play his latest
novel, Gimme the Cash, has been longlisted for the coming Booker. He and Snell fear
that Zob won’t win it, and may not even get it shortlisted, unless some clever publicity
scheme is launched. The best that Snell seems to be able to come up with is a reading
from the novel at the South Bank, where Snell and his assistant Merle, and Zob and
his assistant Wye, take parts in a part-dramatised reading from the book. The plot
moves steadily towards this climax.
However, unbeknown to the other three, Snell has planned for and hatched a climax
of quite a different kind, calculated to bring maximum TV and press coverage to Marshall
Zob with his latest book. He in fact organises a public riot at the South Bank reading.
Unfortunately, what is intended as his coup de grâce, and ultimate glory for Marshall
Zob, seriously backfires, leaving him, his client and his agency hard put to salvage
a shred of public credibility
All characters and the names of works attributed to them are wholly fictitious.
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