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This interview is taken from PN Review 82, Volume 18 Number 2, November - December 1991.

Robert Hewison in Conversation Nicolas Tredell


Nicolas Tredell: You're active in a variety of cultural fields - as a Ruskin scholar, as the author of a trilogy on postwar British culture, as a contemporary cultural analyst in books such as The Heritage Industry and Future Tense, as a Sunday Times theatre critic, and as a presenter of the Radio 3 programme Third Ear. You said recently on the radio that you had come through 'the standard bourgeois upper-middle-class training' (Third Ear, Radio 3, 5 June 1991). Could you tell us first of all about your background and education?

Robert Hewison: You could say that I come from the administrative class. My father was a senior Civil Servant with some literary talents - he used to set the competitions for the New Statesman, he has four limericks in the Faber Book of Limericks, and he wrote pastiches for Punch. He also translated some of Simenon's novels. I was sent to public school which I detested and I then went to Oxford which I loved. I did very little work at Oxford. Much more important to me was confirming an interest in the theatre in a very practical sense. Michael Palin and I very quickly teamed up as a cabaret duo and so I had three very enjoyable years at University writing and performing in the post-satirical age. One of the most useful things I did was to be in a University production called Hang Down Your ...

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