First play, Afore Night Come, staged by Royal Shakespeare Company in 1962 experimental season; informed RSC's modernizing approach to the performance of Shakespeare as 'our contemporary'; with Edward Bond's Saved, was the play that most helped bring to an end the Lord Chamberlain's function as theatre censor. There followed:

Original opera-libretti for composers Gordon Crosse (The Grace of Todd: dir. Colin Graham, Aldeburgh 1969) and Joseph Horovitz (Sabatai Zevi - though he never composed it). A performing translation for the Royal Opera House 1964 Georg Solti - Peter Hall production of Schoenberg's Moses and Aaron. Later, original libretti for one-act operas by Param Vir:  Broken Strings (dir. Pierre Audi, Munich Festival 1992), and Black Feather Rising (dir. Jos van Kaan, Stichting Octopus, Amsterdam 2008).   Currently, again for composer Param Vir, dramatic poem for major opera project  Awakening, commissioned by Theatre Bonn for their Beethoven 250th anniversary season 2020;  preparations suspended during Covid pandemic, new schedule tba.

'Additional screenplay' work for directors Tony Richardson (on a Genet script Mademoiselle, 1963) and François Truffaut (on his Fahrenheit 451, 1964). In 1968-69, a full screenplay for Fred Zinnemann (a film adaptation of S. Anski's Hassidic play The Dybbuk). Later, my first original screenplay, worked from the memoirs of Shostakovich, Testimony (dir. Tony Palmer; New York Film Festival Gold Medal for Screenplay 1988). Adaptation of December Bride by Sam Hanna Bell (dir. Thaddeus O'Sullivan; European Film Festival Jury Special Award 1989). Adaptation of The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy (dir. Phil Agland; Shanghai Film Festival awards, 1997).  Currently in development, an original screenplay, working title Stigma, for Andre Semenza, Maverick Films. 

Among original plays for tv: in the '60s, for H.M.Tennent's Globe Television The Stone Dance and Children Playing (both produced by Cecil Clarke, directed by Peter Wood); for BBC 'Wednesday Play' series (prod. Irene Shubik, dir. Alan Cooke) House of Character and Blodwen Home from Rachel's Marriage. Later, for BBC Pebble Mill, Birmingham, produced by David Rose: Penda's Fen (dir. Alan Clarke 1974), Artemis 81 (dir. Alastair Reid 1981); produced by Carol Parks, White Lady (1986, directed by myself).

Audio.  For BBC Radio 3: Cries from Casement as his Bones are Brought to Dublin (dir. John Tydeman 1974); The Lovesong of Alfred J. Hitchcock (dir. Philip Martin; Sony Silver Award 1993); The Haunting of Mahler (dir. Philip Martin 1994). For Radio 4 Belfast The Giant's Cause... (dir. Lawrence Jackson 2005).  Again for Radio 3, Macedonia (dir. Jeremy Mortimer 2014).  2020, with New Perspectives, Nottingham,  Ten PlacePrints:  'journeys into haunted landscapes for voices and sound'.  

As a translator: the Persians of Aeschylus (Radio 3, dir. Richard Imison 1965); the Hecuba (Radio 3, dir. John Tydeman 1975) and Hippolytus of Euripides (RSC, dir. Ron Daniels 1978); Ibsen's Peer Gynt (RSC, dir. Ron Daniels 1983), Rosmersholm (Radio 3, dir. John Tydeman 1990) and When We Dead Waken (London, Almeida Theatre, dir. Jonathan Kent 1990); Genet's Deathwatch and The Maids (RSC, dir. Ultz 1987);  Deathwatch translation later reworked from Genet's final (1985) revision of the play (London, Print Room, Coronet Theatre, dir. Geraldine Alexander 2016).  

But main personal commitment has always been to original theatre-work: Afore Night Come, written 1960 (first staged 1962, RSC dir. Clifford Williams); The Sons of Light 1964-65 (revised and first staged 1975, Newcastle Playhouse dir. Keith Hack; in further revision, RSC, dir. Ron Daniels); Ashes 1972 (first staged in German, Hamburg 1973; in English, London Open Space Theatre, dir. Pam Brighton 1975); The Triumph of Death 1976 (first staged 1981, Birmingham Repertory Theatre Studio, dir. Peter Farago); Hansel and Gretel (RSC, dir. Ron Daniels 1978); The Saxon Shore 1983 (first staged 1986, Almeida Theatre, dir. Pierre Audi);  John Piper in the House of Death 1984 (revised and first staged 1991, London Central School of Speech and Drama, dir. Nick Mahon); Will's Way (RSC 1984, dir. Alison Sutcliffe);  Merlin Unchained  (2009, written for Aberystwyth University, dir. David Rabey);  The LoveSong of Alfred J Hitchcock (2013, New Perspectives Touring Company, dir. Jack McNamara).  Two plays written meantime in the 1990s -- Symphonie Pathetique on the mystery of Tchaikovsky's death, and Trade, set in an Amsterdam 'house with boys' -- remain unperformed.   

Next Page



1962. At rehearsal of Afore Night Come (RSC, Arts Theatre, London) with director Clifford Williams.