Bill Nighy and David Hare: Five notable collaborations

Bill Nighy, left, and David Hare have collaborated on numerous stage and screen projects, including the recent London revival of Hare's play "Skylight."
(Jay L. Clendenin and Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Few British theater partnerships have been as fruitful as the relationship between playwright David Hare and actor Bill Nighy. Like De Niro and Scorsese, Clooney and Soderbergh, they not only seem to understand each other on a molecular level but also seem to channel each other’s creative vibes with an apparent effortlessness.

The recent London revival of Hare’s “Skylight,” starring Nighy and Carey Mulligan, is scheduled to be broadcast to cinemas worldwide starting Thursday. Next month PBS will air “Turks & Caicos” and “Salting the Battlefield,” the final two installments in Hare’s BBC trilogy about MI5 agent Johnny Worricker, played by Nighy.

Here are five notable Hare-Nighy collaborations, most of which have been on the stage:

“Skylight”: Nighy plays the much-older suitor to Mulligan’s schoolteacher in this revival of Hare’s 1995 drama. The play opened this year in London and ran through Aug. 23 at Wyndham’s Theatre on the West End. The National Theatre is broadcasting the production to cinemas worldwide. The production will bow on Broadway in 2015 with Mulligan and Nighy reprising their roles.


Johnny Worricker trilogy: After 2011’s “Page Eight,” Nighy returns to PBS in November with the final two parts in the Worricker spy trilogy — “Turks & Caicos” and “Salting the Battlefield.” Hare wrote and directed all three installments, bringing a jaunty, off-kilter rhythm to the espionage genre. The playwright’s well-known opinions on the war on terror once again take the spotlight.

“The Vertical Hour”: Hare and Nighy teamed in 2006 for this political drama, their first Broadway collaboration. Nighy played father to Julianne Moore’s journalist-academic. The protagonists work out their parent-child issues by butting heads about America’s involvement in Iraq.

“Pravda”: Co-written by Hare, this thinly veiled satire about Rupert Murdoch was first seen at London’s National Theatre in 1985, with Anthony Hopkins playing a terrifying newspaper mogul. Nighy appeared in a supporting role as one of Hopkin’s trusted aides.

“Dreams of Leaving”: Hare’s 1980 TV play marked his first collaboration with Nighy. The actor played the romantic lead opposite Kate Nelligan in the drama that aired on the BBC’s series “Play for Today.”

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT