Theatre

Stephen’s first full length play was a comedy about student angst called Exit, Pursued by a Bear, which was produced at the 1973 Edinburgh Festival.

His first job in professional theatre was as Writer/Researcher to the Belgrade Coventry Theatre in Education team in 1975. He created several shows in collaboration with the T.I.E. team and this began an involvement with young people’s theatre which has continued throughout his career including work for York Theatre Royal, the Unicorn Theatre and the Half Moon. He is currently dramaturge to the Brighton-based children’s theatre company, Krazy Kat Theatre.

Stephen’s one and only West End show was the all-women musical revue, After Shave, which he wrote with Nic Rowley. A look at male/female relationships, After Shave was arguably ahead of its time. It came from a highly successful run at the Haymarket Theatre Leicester ill-prepared into the Apollo Theatre in 1978 and died a quick death. Its up and coming producer, one Cameron Mackintosh, omitted it from his producer credits for many years.

In 1983 and 1984 Stephen spent two stimulating years as Resident Playwright working with the London Bubble Company, which tours shows round London in a tent. Working with Artistic Director, Bob Carlton, and Musical Director, Kate Edgar, he created Glitterballs, a cabaret style treatment of the rise and fall of the Kray Twins and The Rogue’s Progress, based on Henry Fielding’s novel about the infamous 18th century Thief taker General, Jonathan Wild.

He has adapted novels for the stage on several occasions. One of the most successful was his version of Zola’s L’Assommoir, created with Jane Gibson, Sue Lefton and Anthony Ingle. Under the title of A Working Woman, it was produced at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1992 to considerable critical acclaim. It’s now been published.

Stephen has always been fascinated by musical drama and opera so he leapt at the chance of working with Jeff Clarke of Opera della Luna. Jeff had heard Stephen’s adaptation of W.S. Gilbert’s The Burglar’s Tale on radio and together they created The Burglar’s Opera “stolen from an idea by W.S. Gilbert with music nicked from Sir Arthur Sullivan”.

He also worked with Robert Orledge, a leading expert on Debussy, on a performing version of Debussy's unfinished comic opera, The Devil in the Belfry, based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe. This had its world premiere in Montreal in March 2012 and its European premiere took place in Gottingen in December 2013.

He then wrote the script for Krazy Kat's new show A Victorian Mikado which toured in May and June 2011. In March 2011 the Queen's Theatre Hornchurch staged the premiere of the expanded two-act version of his musical comedy Pick Yourself Up with music by Cole Porter and Jerome Kern. Audiences and critics gave it a very favourable reception.

His dramatic monologue The Standard Bearer was revived with Neil Dickson directed by Julian Sands. The production has since played both at the Waterloo East Theatre in London and the Stephanie Feury Theatre in Los Angeles.

Told Look Younger, a provocative and frank comedy about sex, love, friendship and growing old, directed by Sue Dunderdale, had a very successful four week run at the Jermyn Street Theatre in  June/ July 2015, supported by the Arts Council of England.

He's currently putting the finishing touches to a new stage play with the working title, Two Cigarettes in the Dark, A Comedy about Dying.

 Click here for a full list of Stephen's work for theatre