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New King Palmers

The Two Gentlewomen of Dover

Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize?




Who’s Afraid of the Booker Prize?

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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