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Laurence Olivier is a biographer’s dream. From lowly origins as a theatre bellringer, he rose to international stardom to become an Oscar-winning director and one of the greatest stage actors of the twentieth century. His glamorous, stormy personal life is the stuff of legend and his marriage to Vivien Leigh was as tragic as any Hollywood film.
Drawing on more than fifty hours of candid, unpublished interviews, Olivier captures the character of the man in all his extravagance and contradiction. Its publication coincides with the 50th anniversary of the National Theatre, which Laurence Olivier was instrumental in founding. Philip Ziegler is one of Britain’s leading biographers and a writer of startling candour and humour. His previous subjects include two monarchs and four prime ministers, and this evening is a fantastic chance to hear the untold story of a king of the stage and screen.