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Biography

Richard Norton-Taylor was educated at King's School in Canterbury, Oxford, and the College of Europe, Bruges. Since joining The Guardian in 1975 he has investigated official secrecy, behind-the-scenes decision-making in Government, and the activities of the security and intelligence services. His books include Whose Land Is It Anyway?, The Ponting Affair, Blacklist, The Inside Story of Political Vetting, and Aitken, t he Liar. His works for stage include Half the Picture, Nuremburg (published by Nick Hern Books), Srebrenica, Justifying War: Scenes from the Hutton Inquiry, The Colour of Justice and Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry, all three of which are published by Oberon Books.
 
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Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry

Richard Norton-Taylor
 

Sunday, 30 January 1972: Thirteen civil rights marchers are shot dead, and another thirteen wounded when British soldiers open fire during a civil rights march in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. An inquiry by Lord Chief Justice Widgery – branded the Widgery Whitewash by many – suggested that the soldiers had been attacked first. There was a strong suspicion that some of the victims had fired weapons.

A sustained campaign by the families of the victims, and new material collected by the Irish government provoked a second inquiry in 1998. Since March 2000 the Saville Inquiry has heard evidence from over one thousand witnesses including civilians, military personnel, the media, experts, forensic scientists, politicians, civil servants, priests and members of the RUC. This play is a dramatic overview of some of the evidence.


Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-568-2 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Called to Account
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Called to Account

The Indictment of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair for the Crime of Aggression Against Iraq: A Hearing

Richard Norton-Taylor
 

In 2007 two leading barristers - Philippe Sands QC (for the prosecution) and Julian Knowles (for the defence) - tested the evidence of the grounds for an indictment of the British Prime Minister for the crime of aggression against Iraq.

They examined a number of distinguished witnesses, including MPs, diplomats, international lawyers, civil servants, UN officials, policy advisors, intelligence experts and journalists. The arguments and testimony gathered, edited into a play by Richard Norton-Taylor, examine the criminal implications of the British Government’s decision to use force against Iraq, and allow the audience to decide whether an indictment in this case is proven.


Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-745-7 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Chilcot
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Chilcot

Richard Norton-Taylor / Matt Woodhead
 

Tasked with investigating Britain’s role in the Iraq War, the evidence presented to the Chilcot Inquiry was devastating and stark.

Drawing together testimonies from leading political players with the forgotten voices of Iraqi refugees, veterans and military families against war – this pertinent and bold piece of documentary theatre explores the accountability of those who have power over us.

Cast : 18M, 6F, 2U, doubling possible
Oberon Books Ltd, UK | 978-1-78319-773-6 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Colour of Justice, The: The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry
$19.95 ex GST
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Colour of Justice, The: The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry

Richard Norton-Taylor
 
In 1993, black teenager Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in a racist attack by a gang of white youths. The police investigation failed to provide sufficient evidence to convict. Based on the harrowing transcripts of the public inquiry, this is a dramatic reconstruction of the hearings which reflected the national outcry at the police's mishandling of the case.

Review
I still rate The Colour of Justice ... as one of the highlights of my reviewing life -  Michael Billington, Guardian
Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-107-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Justifying War: Scenes from the Hutton Inquiry
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$21.95 inc GST

Justifying War: Scenes from the Hutton Inquiry

Richard Norton-Taylor
 
It usually begins as a play put on at a theatre in North London, and then transfers to I think the BBC, maybe in this case to ITV, I do not know. But the participants and witnesses are played by actors; and there is nothing one can do to stop this. Indeed, it shows, perhaps, the appetite, legitimate appetite of the public, for information beyond the press, beyond the bare written words of what happened. - The Hutton Inquiry, 1/8/03, from Geoffrey Robertson QC's application for the proceedings to be televised.

Although primarily focusing on Dr Kelly's death, the Hutton Inquiry has revealed much of the inner workings of Downing Street, the MoD and the BBC. Witnesses have been challenged and questioned on the compilation of the dossier on weapons of mass destruction, the releasing of Dr Kelly's name into the public domain, and the Government's case for war in Iraq.  

Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-417-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Nuremberg
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Nuremberg

Richard Norton-Taylor
 
One by one the surviving members of the Nazi High Command troupe into the dock: Hitler's Deputy, Hermann Goering; Chief of Staff, Wilhelm Keitel; Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz; Alfred Rosenberg, the chief Nazi theorist; and Hitler's architect and Armaments Minister, Albert Speer. One by one they protest their innocence. One by one they are sentenced for crimes against humanity.   

Review
'Theatre at its best as a moral tribunal, gripping and shaming, a challenge to your nerves and your conscience.'  Sunday Times
Cast : 13M (doubling required)
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-332-0 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Tactical Questioning
$20.86 ex GST
$22.95 inc GST

Tactical Questioning

Richard Norton-Taylor
 
The death of an Iraqi hotel worker in the custody of British soldiers was described by the country's most senior general as "a stain on the character of the British Army... " Baha Mousa died in Basra in September 2003 and other detainees were physically and mentally abused in one of the most shameful episodes involving British soldiers in Iraq. 

In 2008, the defence secretary, Des Browne, admitted to "substantial breaches" of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Ministry of Defence agreed to pay nearly £3m in compensation to the family of Baha Mousa and nine other men. Browne agreed to set up a public inquiry after pressure from high court judges and the failure of the Ministry of Defence to conduct a proper inquiry into the incident.

This new verbatim play from broadcaster and playwright Robin Norton-Taylor dramatizes scenes from the public inquiry that was covered in detail across all forms of British and International media.

Review
Chilling yet compelling drama… The words, in every possible way, speak for themselves. –  Evening Standard



Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-031-9 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB