Sir David Hare changed the Colin Powell character in his play about the run-up to the Iraq war between productions, because he became convinced that the former US secretary general, far from being an honest broker, had not told the truth.
In the National Theatre production of Stuff Happens two years ago, Mr Powell was "represented as a liberal hero", Sir David told the Guardian Hay festival. "In the (subsequent) US production he was a tragic hero. I now believe that Powell was lying when he presented (the weapons of mass destruction) evidence to the UN.
"This is, I admit, very contentious, and is in the face of repeated denials by Powell," he added. "But I think he had grave reservations about whether the 45 minutes claim was true ... he was tricked into going to the UN by George Bush."
Sir David also told the festival how Stuff Happens had encountered "mysterious trouble". At the National Theatre, he said, "it was playing to full houses, had brilliant reviews, and was taken off. I was promised it would be revived, and it never was. I have never been given a proper explanation. I was told, 'It will be out of date next year.'"
Iraq and how we got there won't be out of date next year, the next, or the next. Why people fail to come to grips with this I do not understand.