After writing a monologue on the subject of Israel and Palestine, David Hare forced himself to make his debut on the professional stage at the age of fifty-one. When his success at London's austere Royal Court theatre led to an invitation to appear in New York at a somewhat flashier Broadway venue, Hare was transformed from a shadowy playwright into an actor alone on the stage every night for ninety minutes.

Hare's hilarious diary of his experience on both sides of the Atlantic tells of his difficulties in coming to terms with his frightening change of career, but also grapples with more serious questions about what the difference is between acting and performance, and whether anyone can learn to do either.