Anthony Horowitz adopts pseudonym to avoid a savaging by the critics

The writer is convinced theatre doesn't want him after last play was 'brutalised' by reviewers


Even the most successful writers quail at the thought of a mauling from the critics.

So savage were the reviews of his 2015 play Dinner with Saddam that Anthony Horowitz has decided to write his next play under a pseudonym.

Horowitz, one of the country’s most popular novelists, said his foray into the “awful” world of theatre had been a chastening experience, with his play “brutalised” by reviewers.

According to The Times, he told an audience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival: “I have just finished another play and this time I am not even going to do it under my own name. Because I am quite convinced that theatre doesn’t want me, I am too much of a parvenu, too busy elsewhere.”

Horowitz certainly is busy. Known for the Alex Rider series of children’s books, he has also written James Bond and Sherlock Holmes adventures, and scripts for TV dramas Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders.

His latest book, a crime thriller called The Word is Murder, is published this month.

Dinner with Saddam, staged at the Menier Chocolate Factory two years ago, was a farce about the 2003 invasion of Iraq starring Steven Berkoff. The JC’s reviewer gave it three stars, but complained that it lacked momentum.

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