Stephen Wyatt was born in Kent and lived as a child in London. He was educated at Latymer Upper School and then Clare College, Cambridge.
He writes for theatre, radio, television and screen. I recently discovered on an old reel of tape that he directed the 'Cambridge Footlights' Revue way back in 1973, entitled 'Every Packet carries a Government Health Warning'.
His original radio drama
includes: Fairest Isle which gained a Sony Award; Party Animal and A Game of Marbles, a comedy about the
Elgin Marbles broadcast to coincide with the Athens Olympics. His most recent original play was Memorials
to the Missing. He has dramatised two series of Sketches By Boz for Radio 4 and one series of Tales
by Thackeray. He has written many radio adaptations including The Old Wivesí Tale,
Gilbert Without Sullivan, Vanity Fair (in 20 parts) and Tales The Countess Told, a 90í special with Eleanor Bron.
Stephenís television credits include Doctor Who, Casualty, House of Elliott and a
comedy, Claws, for Screen One.
Stephenís theatrical plays have been professionally performed across the country
in venues ranging from the West Endís Apollo Theatre to the Bubble Theatreís touring tent.
Recent work includes R.I.P., Maria Callas (Hen and Chickens) and The Ladiesí Paradise (LAMDA).
Stephen has also scripted a large number of audio guides; for example, for the Elizabeth I exhibition at Greenwich
Maritime Museum, for the Royal Photographic Society, for Baconsthorpe Castle in Norfolk, Maiden Castle, and Tichfield House.
He is the only person to have won the Tinniswood Award (best radio drama script of the year) twice.
Plays for Radio:
2011 Beware of Pity (adap from Stefan Zweig), 2-episode classic serial
2011 The Little Sister (adap. from Raymond Chandler)
2011 The Long Goodbye (adap. from Raymond Chandler)
2011 Playback (adap. from Raymond Chandler)
2011 *The Lady in the Lake (adap. from Raymond Chandler)
2011 *Double Jeopardy (Radio 4; about Raymond Chandler/Billy Wilder))
2010 *Gerontius (Radio 4) TINNISWOOD AWARD WINNER
2009 *Farewell Symphony (Radio 3)
2009 *Ripley Under Water (adap. from Patricia Highsmith)
2009 *The Boy who Followed Ripley (adap. from Patricia Highsmith)
2009 *The Talented Mr. Ripley (adap. from Patricia Highsmith)
2008 The Yellowplush Papers (Thackeray)
2008 The Iceman Returneth (R4 '80 not out')
2008 Black Narcissus (adap. from Rumer Godden)
2007 Ho! Ho! Ho! (Cribbins at Christmas)
2007 *Memorials to the Missing TINNISWOOD AWARD WINNER
2007 *Tom Jones (from Fielding, Classic serial)
2006 Tinkling the Ivories
2005 *Oblomov (from Goncharov, Classic Serial)
04.07.05 *Dr. Brighton and Mr. Harding (Gilbert Harding biog)
06.08.04 *A game of marbles
08.07.04 Agnes Beaumont, by herself, rpt
2004-5 *Gilbert without Sullivan (adap. from W.S.Gilbert) series 2
2004 Vanity Fair (from Thackeray, 20 episodes)
2004 The Old Wives' Tale (from Arnold Bennett. 15 episodes)
2003 Sour Beer for Soldier, Sailor (drama-doc)
2003 The Blotting Book (from Fred Benson, Sat. play)
2003 *Gilbert without Sullivan (adap. from W.S.Gilbert) series 1
2003 *Party Animal (nominated for Tinniswood Award)
2002 Agnes Beaumont, by herself
2002 Over the Hills for Soldier, Soldier (drama-doc)
2001 Tales from Thackeray
2001 Tales the Countess told
2000 Gray's Elegy (with Pier Productions)
1999 Sketches by Boz, series 2 (adapted from Dickens)
1998 Sketches by Boz, series 1 (adapted from Dickens)
1997 The Speculator (after Balzac. World Service)
1997 *Net Suicide (Fear on Four)
1997 The Ladies' Paradise (from Zola, Classic Serial)
1995 Christmas Eve (from Gogol)
1995 Deal Souls (Classic Serial. Writers' Guild Award nominee)
1995 Fairest Isle (R3) Sony Award Winner
1993 Memoirs of a Midget (from de la Mare, Classic Serial)
1990 *The Organgrinder's Monkey
1986 Siren Song
1980 The Wise Woman of Bayswater
1977 Help Stamp Out Quicksand
BEWARE OF PITY....2011
27 Nov 11, 2-part Classic Serial, adapted from Stefan Zweig's story (the Clare McIntyre stage production).
RT blurb: A soldier takes pity on a crippled girl, but their relationship changes both their lives in unexpected ways.
Cast: Piers Wehner as Anton, Bryony Hannah as Edith; with Ronald Pickup, Jasper Britton, Michael Jayston, Mabel Clements, Jack Chedburn, Tai Lawrence, Jason Devoy.
THE LITTLE SISTER....2011
15 Oct 11. Third in a series of four Chandler adaptations (nos. 2 and 4 were done by Robin Brooks). Marlowe finds himself in a Hollywood film studio when he investigates the disappearance of a client's brother.
Toby Stephens, Kelly Burke, Fenella Woolgar, Peter Polycarpou, Ginita Jimenez, John Guerrasio, Jonathan Forbes. Produced by Claire Grove.
THE LONG GOODBYE....2011
1 Oct 11. First in a new series of Raymond Chandler stories, dram. by Stephen Wyatt. 90 min. Marlowe helps a drunk outside a clubone night and thinks no more about it. But several days later the man finds Marlowe and asks him for a favour.
Cast: Toby Stephens, Trevor White, Saskia Reeves, Peter Polycarpou, James Lailey, Simon Bubb, Alan Raglan. Producer Claire Grove.
STRANGERS ON A FILM....2011
29 Sep 11, R4 afternoon play. The collaboration of Raymond Chandler and Alfred Hitchcock on the film 'Strangers on a Train', based on a story by Patricia Highsmith. They don't get on too well....
Cast: Patrick Stewart as Raymond Chandler; Clive Swift as Hitchcock. Produced by Claire Grove.
2/4 THE LADY IN THE LAKE....2011
12 Feb R4, 90m. Dram. Stephen Wyatt.
Another adaptation from Raymond Chandler's famous series of Philip Marlowe stories. Being a Chandler story, the lady in the lake is dead.....
Toby Stephens, Sam Dale, Barbara Barnes, Steve Toussaint, Nathan Osgood, Claire Harry, Lloyd Thomas, Sean Baker. Producer Claire Grove.
4 Feb 2011; by Stephen Wyatt. Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler working on the film adaptation of "Double Indemnity" by James M. Cain. They don't like each other very much, but Chandler is a master of the classic one-liner, and Wilder knows exactly what will work on screen. They eventually manage to find a way of working together and their screenplay turns out to be a classic. Excellent writing, casting and production.
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Adrian Scarborough. Producer Claire Grove.
A season of new Raymond Chandler begins soon, dramatised by Stephen Wyatt and Robin Brooks......
UPDATE....more about these new adaptations, including some audience reaction, on the 2011 plays page.
4 Feb 2011; Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler working on the film adaptation of "Double Indemnity" by James M. Cain. They don't like each other very much, but they eventually manage to work together and their screenplay is truly memorable.
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Adrian Scarborough. Producer Claire Grove.
GERONTIUS (R4, 8 Jul 10), by Stephen Wyatt, examined the thirty-year relationship of Cardinal Newman and Friar Ambrose St. John, his mentor and friend. Newman insisted in his will that he was to be buried in the same grave.
Partway through the play we hear a gay rights protestor calling the Catholic Church homophobic.
This is one of three modern perspectives offered late in the play on the controversy over the deep love between Newman and St John.
A second sees the inscription on Newman's tomb as an expression of a belief that intense human love foreshadows our experience of divine love.
The third offers the Catholic perspective that we should focus on what Newman has to tell us, rather than bring in unhistorical ideas about gay love.
The play is a meditation of what the intense love between these two men actually meant; it's not about shoe-horning that love (for which the documentary evidence is very clear) into anybody's convenient category.
Derek Jacobi played Newman, and Friar Ambrose was Nicholas Boulton, supported by Geoffrey Whitehead, Karl Davies, Michael Jayston, Ben Warwick and Jane Whittenshaw. The director was Martin Jenkins, working for Pier Productions.
As I write this (19 Sept) the Pope, on his visit to London, is presiding at the ceremony of Cardinal Newman's Beatification, in front of 50,000 spectators, at a park near Birmingham; a step towards the Victorian theologian becoming a saint. Apparently there have been two recently verified miracles associated with Newman. It's a strange world.
THE RIPLEY NOVELS....2009
Dramatisation of the thrillers by Patricia Highsmith about the chameleon-like antihero, Ripley. Ian Hart, Helen Longworth, Caroline Guthrie, William Hope. Producer Stephen Canny.
Tiles- The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Boy Who Followed Ripley & Ripley Under Water.
MEMORIALS TO THE MISSING....2007
8 Nov 07,Thursday,Radio 4,14:15:00, afternoon play. Stephen Wyatt's play follows moves during the First World War to establish an Imperial War Graves Commission to record the graves of those killed in action. Fabian Ware ...... Anton Lesser, Edwin Lutyens ...... Michael Maloney, Macready ...... Keith Drinkel, Florence Cecil ...... Theresa Gallagher, Alice/nurse ...... Sophie Roberts, Soldiers ...... Karl Davies; Alex Wyndham; Ben Crowe; directed by Martin Jenkins. Excellent play showing how persistence can overcome bureaucracy.
This play won a silver Sony Drama Award, and the 2008 Tinniswood Award. Details from the Sony site are shown below. Details of the Tinniswood Award are shown on that page. Click on the RADIO PLAYS link above to find it.
Actuality Producer: Angela Hind,
Production Assistants: Joanna Green & Emma Davis,
Production Manager: Jane Ellison,
Studio Manager: David Thomas,
Commissioning Editor: Jeremy Howe,
Executive Producer: Peter Hoare.
" Powerful, moving, informative and uplifting were just some of the adjectives used to describe this beautifully assured production. The various strands of the drama were masterfully woven together, forming an utterly original treatment of an unjustly-neglected aspect of Remembrance Day".
The well-known story by Fielding, dramatised by Stephen Wyatt in three one-hour episodes. I
would have liked it over a few more weeks, but it worked well. Produced by Claire Grove.
With Simon Russell Beale and Michael Legge, and Margaret Tyzack as Miss Western.
Biographical play about Gilbert Harding, the outspoken, irascible
broadcaster of the 1950s. He became famous for his unpredictable
appearances on What's My Line, Twenty Questions and The Brains
Trust. He was famous for insulting people, too (including my old tutor
at Cambridge, Sydney Smith) and being contrite and remorseful
afterwards. With Roger Allam, Ben Crowe, Keith Drinkel, Carl
Prekopp, Jenny Funnell, Ian Masters, Jean Trend. Producer Martin
Jenkins. 45m, afternoon play, 4 Jul 05, 1415.
GILBERT WITHOUT SULLIVAN....2004-5
Another series of humorous stories by W.S.Gilbert, dramatised by Stephen Wyatt.
AGNES BEAUMONT....2004, rpt
08 July 2004,14:15,Kay Cavanagh/Paul Ritter/Adrian Scarborough/Becky Hindley/Jon Strickland/Ben Crowe. A 22 year old Puritan, a friend of John Bunyan, is accused of murder. A true story based on The Narrative of Mrs. Agnes Beaumont, published in 1674.
THE OLD WIVES' TALE....2004
From Arnold Bennett. Radio 4. 15 episodes.
GILBERT WITHOUT SULLIVAN....2003
A series of very silly stories by W.S.Gilbert, dramatised by Stephen Wyatt, Gilbert without Sullivan,
began on R4, 1130, 7 May 03. In one episode an entire village is subjected to a love potion; in another
a confirmed bachelor is unable to avoid a large amorous lady, in spite of a shipwreck and other freak
incidents. These were harmless entertaining tales, and a pleasant half-hour's listening, all directed
by Sue Wilson. ...ND, VRPCC newsletter, Sep 03...
W.S.Gilbert never wrote any radio plays, but he did write a series
of quirky short stories which have been dramatised recently for
radio by Stephen Wyatt. They are very good; details are below.
1: FINGER OF FATE 7 May 03
Foggerty is a confirmed bachelor. But fate has some plans for
him...with Jonathan Coy as Gilbert, Stephen Moore as Foggerty, also
starring Alison Steadman, Martin Hyder, Ian Masters. Dir. Sue Wilson.
2:AN ELIXIR OF LOVE 14 May 03
A secret love potion has unexpected results when it's released into
the community by a naive vicar...with Jonathan Coy, Paul Downing, Cathy
Sera, Gillian Goodman,, Christopher Scott, John Fleming; dir. Sue Wilson.
3:THE BURGLAR'S STORY 21 May 03
Theodore's education is worth any sacrifice by his parents, who are
petty crooks. But his career is cut short by a series of unforeseen
incidents....with Jonathan Coy, Michael Onslow, John Webb, Amy Tobin,
Stephen Boswell, Kim Durham, Alexandra Lilley. Dir. Sue Wilson.
4: WIDE AWAKE 28 May 03
Unworldly Harold Symperson boasts of his fortune
until he falls victim to his relatives' plot to engage
him to his cousin. With Jonathan Coy as Gilbert, Richard Derrington,
Chris Emmett,Julia Hills, Joanna Wake, Jamie Chapman and Tom George;
directed by Sue Wilson.
5: MR. FOSTER'S GOOD FAIRY 4 Jun 03
Cyril Foster, a confectioner, is haunted by his past. Then a fairy
from one of his cakes offers him an escape. With Jonathan Coy
as Gilbert, Ian Brooker as Cyril, also starring Sara Coward, Lennox
Greaves and David Bannerman. Dir. Sue Wilson.
Party Animal ....2003
by Stephen Wyatt (shortlisted for Tinniswood Award)
When a nineteen year boy dies of an overdose at a celebrity party his divorced father sets out to find the truth about what happened.
vThe phone goes as Martin is leaving the house. It is his son, Josh. Martin has hardly seen him since the divorce a few years ago, but he is in a hurry and asks Josh to call back later. Josh never does. A few days later the papers are full of the death of a Ďmale escortí at a celebrity party. The guests are politicians, business men and showbiz personalities. The Ďescortí is Josh. Martin is stunned. He has lost his son, who was once a clever boy with a bright future. He has apparently been working as a male prostitute, and taking hard drugs. This happens to other peopleís children but not to Martinís. What has gone wrong? Who is responsible?
The inquest and funeral bring encounters with Lesley, Martinís ex-wife. She refuses to see their sonís gayness as a failure. Martin knows he is on his own. The police are unhelpful, the celebrities keep him at a distance. Joshís friend and one-time lover, Aaron, tries to help but Martin wonít let him. A contradictory picture of Josh is emerging. He was a good time boy seeking influential friends, and a lonely, depressed young man searching for a way out of an empty life.
This is an ordinary manís journey into a world he was barely conscious of before the death of his son. He is fuelled by anger, prejudice and the desire to blame anyone and everyone. He wants a simple answer, but in the end the play is about Martin facing his own inadequacies as a parent and a man.
Cast: Cast: Philip Jackson (The Sins), Carl Prekopp (A Certain Smile), Tom Smith (Monarch of the Glen), Lynne Verrall (Auf Wiedersehen Pet), Peter Wight (Vera Darke), Nitin Ganatra (Colour Me Kubrick) and appearances by Tom George and Emma Woolliams.
Producer: Claire Grove
Broadcast: 28/02/2003, BBC Radio 4
(information on this play supplied by Jo Hodder,
Society of Authors)
THE BLOTTING BOOK....2003
By Fred Benson.
26 Jul 03; dramatised by Stephen Wyatt.
A savage murder in genteel Edwardian Brighton uncovers a tangled web of uncontrolled passions, lies
Taynton ...... Geoffrey Whitehead
Morris ...... James D'Arcy
His Mother ...... Sarah Badel
Madge ...... Abby Ford
Martin ...... Tom Bevan
Mills/defence counsel ...... Sam Kelly
Figgis ...... Alan Leith
Policeman ...... Sidney Sloane
Prosecuting counsel ...... Ian Masters
Producer- Sue Wilson
Soldier, Sailor ....2003
26 Nov 03.
Four programmes telling the story of some of the most dramatic naval battles in British history through
the voices of ordinary sailors who took part in them - climbing the rigging, sweeping deck, manning
1/4. Sour Beer, by Stephen Wyatt
Martin Peasgood is the bosun's mate on the 'Elizabeth Jonas' sent out to chase the Spanish
Armada in 1588. With commentary from historians Ian Friel and Maria Rodriguez-Salgado.
Performed by Nicholas Woodeson.
Radio 4. Drama- documentary entitled 'Over the Hills'.
6 Dec or, R4, afternoon play. Kay Cavanagh/Paul Ritter/Adrian Scarborough/Becky Hindley/Jon Strickland/Ben Crowe.
A 22 year old Puritan, a friend of John Bunyan, is accused of murder. A true story based on The Narrative of
Mrs. Agnes Beaumont, published in 1674.
TALES THE COUNTESS TOLD....2001
TALES FROM THACKERAY....2001
R4, 8 Jun 00. Interesting play about Gray's Elegy in a Country Churchyard, and the
forces which caused him to write it. Done with Pier Productions.
SKETCHES BY BOZ....1999
Adapted from Dickens. Series 2. R4.
SKETCHES BY BOZ....1998
Adapted from Dickens. Series 1. R4.
THE LADIES' PARADISE....1997
From Zola. Classic Serial. R4.
After Balzac. World Service.
FEAR ON FOUR - SERIES 5 .... 1997
Net Suicide (4/9/97)
Gerard McDermott, Tracy Ann Oberman, John Roew, David Brookes
Dir - David Hunter.
Whilst surfing the internet, a man whose life isn't going according to plan stumbles upon a
site where you can arrange to be killed as an alternative to suicide. He signs up to the deal they offer,
and then finds everything starts going his way. By the time its his turn to pay for his prosperity, with
his life, he no longer wants to end it all...but a deal is a deal, and once made cannot be revoked.
From Gogol, R4.
Radio 3; I think this was about Purcell. Sony Award winner.
From Gogol; Classic Serial, radio 4.
MEMOIRS OF A MIDGET....1993
Emma Fielding/John Church/Matthew Morgan/Sylvestra le Touzel. Classic serial. Adaptation of Walter de la Mare.
THE ORGANGRINDER'S MONKEY....1990
Episodes in the early life of Rossini, and a glimpse of some of the non-musical influences which affected him.
70m. 8thOct86. R3. Lively 17th century romp.
THE WISE WOMAN OF BAYSWATER....1980
HELP STAMP OUT QUICKSAND....1977
compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website
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