Alan Plater (Alan Frederick Plater)
BiographyJarrow, Tyne and Wear, England, UK
Born in Jarrow in 1935, Alan Plater was brought up in Hull, and trained as an architect in Newcastle. He has been a full-time writer since 1961, with over two hundred assorted credits in radio, television, theatre and film - plus six novels, occasional journalism, broadcasting and teaching. His first plays were written for radio, a medium he still loves. His play, THE JOURNAL OF VASILUE BOGDANOVIC, won the 1983 Sony Radio Award, justifying his faith in eccentric titles. Read more... the Industrial revolution, a radical new version of Gorki's LOWER DEPTHS and a new play, ONLY A MATTER OF TIME, heard in February of this year. His television career began with a string of single plays as well as contributions to the pioneering Z CARS series. Subsequent work has included BARCHESTER CHRONICLES, the BEIDERBECKE TRILOGY, FORTUNES OF WAR and A VERY BRITISH COUP - accumulating Awards from, among others, BAFTA, the Broadcasting Press Guild and the Royal Television Society - plus an International Emmy (USA), the Golden Fleece of Georgia (USSR) and the Grand Prix of the Banff Festival (Canada). His film, SELECTED EXITS, about Gwyn Thomas and starring Anthony Hopkins, was screened on Christmas Day 1993, wining the BAFTA Cymru Writing Award and the Royal Television Society Award for Best Regional Programme. DOGGIN' AROUND, about a jazz pianist adrift in the North of England, was shown in the BBC Screen One season in the Autumn of 1994, starring Eillot Gould and Geraldine James. His work in the theatre includes the musical, CLOSE THE COALHOUSE DOOR, written with Alex Glasgow and Sid Chaplin, a key work in the development of British political drama and triumphantly revived by Live Theatre, Newcastle in October 1994; two celebrated adaptations of Bill Tidy's FOSDYKE SAGA for London's Bush Theatre: RENT PARTY and 1 THOUGHT 1 HEARD A RUSTLING for the Theatre Royal, Stratford East; SWEET SORROW, a celebration of the poet Phillip Larkin for Hull Truck and GOING HOME, a celebration of Tyneside, Australia, forgotten footballers and cool jazz for Newcastle Playhouse. His stage play, SHOOTING THE LEGEND, was seen at at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle in September 1995, where it played to packed houses and rave reviews and won him a nomination for the Lloyd's Playwright of the Year Award. In 1998 he made his debut at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre with ALL CREDIT TO THE LADS, starring Roy Marsden. His first film for the big screen was THE VIRGIN AND THE GYPSY, from D. H. Lawrence's novel, and he later worked with Richard Lester on JUGGERNAUT. He wrote the screenplay for KEEP THE ASPIDISTRA FLYING (A MERRY WAR in the U.S.) from George Orwell's novel, released in 1997, directed by Robert Bierman, starring Richard E. Grant and Helens Bonham Carter. He has also written at least twenty abandoned projects of surpassing brilliance, has been fired by some eminent people and can be very boring about all this in conversation. His latest television work includes contributions to the DALZIEL AND PASCOE series for the BBC, dramatised from the novels by Reginald Hill, starring Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan. He Lives very contentedly in London with his wife, Shirley. When he remembers where he left his spare time, he spends it adoring his grandchildren, juggling with crazy projects, hanging around jazz clubs and willing Hull City to show some form. He was president of the Writer's Guild of Great Britain from September 1991 until April 1995. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Hull and, in November 1997, from the University of Northumbria in his beloved Newcastle.