Published when the National Theatre turned 50 in 2013, Philip Ziegler's biography, based on previously unseen letters and diaries, tells the story of Laurence Olivier as he developed his craft, focusing on his career path from early school days through rep theatre to Hollywood, before returning to triumph in his greatest role ever, as the first director of the National Theatre.
Newlywed Olivier begins a stellar rise in the London theatre, with a big break from Noel Coward. But Hollywood is less generous and he returns home to make a film with Vivien Leigh.
Reader: Toby Jones
Producer: Clive Brill
A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.