Barrie Keeffe

Barrie Colin Keeffe (31 October 1945 – 10 December 2019) was a British dramatist and screenwriter, best known for his screenplay for the 1980 film The Long Good Friday.

Barrie Colin Keeffe
Born(1945-10-31)31 October 1945
London, England
Died10 December 2019(2019-12-10) (aged 74)
London, England
Notable worksThe Long Good Friday, Barbarians, Gimme Shelter, Sus
Notable awardsParis Critics Prix Revelations, Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award
SpouseJacky Stoller

CareerEdit

Born in London, Keeffe was educated at East Ham Grammar School and joined the National Youth Theatre as an actor, after working as a journalist.[1] His first television play, The Substitute, was produced in 1972, his first theatre play Only a Game in 1973, and he became a full-time dramatic author in 1975: his theatre plays have been produced in 26 countries. He is also a screenwriter, notable for the films The Long Good Friday (1981) and Sus in 2010 (the latter adapted from his own play of the same name).

Keeffe's writing has been noted for touching on political themes.[2] Gimme Shelter addressed class, Barbarians was Keeffe's attempt to "capture the energy of punk"[3] and addressed unemployment, Sus concerned institutionalised racism in the police, and Better Times was about the 1921 Poplar Rates Rebellion.

Keeffe was writer-in-residence at the Shaw Theatre in 1977, resident playwright with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1978, and associate writer at the Theatre Royal Stratford East from 1986 to 1991. He taught dramatic writing at City University, London (2002–06), was Judith J. Wilson Fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge (2003–04), visiting lecturer and patron of Writing for Performance at Ruskin College, Oxford (2003–04), and writer in residence at Kingston University, London (from 2011). He has led the Collaldra Writers School and Retreat, Venice, since 2007.

He was a United Nations Ambassador in 1995 (UN 50th anniversary year) and was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Warwick University in 2010. He received the Paris Critics Prix Revelations in 1978 and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1982. He was represented by The Agency, London.

Keeffe's Sus was revived at the Young Vic in 2009, and toured the UK in 2010. His Barbarians trilogy was revived in London in 2012 and 2015 by Tooting Arts Club[4][5] and also in 2015 at the Young Vic.[6][7]

Personal lifeEdit

Keeffe was married to the novelist and theatre director Verity Bargate, who died in 1981. After her death he was guardian to her two sons, whom he brought up.[8] In 2012 Keeffe married the film and television producer Jacky Stoller.

Keeffe died on 10 December 2019, following a brief undisclosed illness. He was 74.[9]

WorksEdit

Theatre playsEdit

  • Only a Game (1973)
  • A Sight of Glory (1975)
  • Scribes (1975)
  • Here Comes the Sun (1976)
  • Gimme Shelter (1977)
  • A Mad World My Masters (1977, 1984)
  • Barbarians, a trilogy consisting of Killing Time, Abide with Me and In the City (1977)
  • Frozen Assets (1978)
  • Sus (1979)
  • Bastard Angel (1980)
  • She's So Modern (1980)
  • Black Lear (1980)
  • Chorus Girls (1981)
  • Better Times (1985)
  • King of England (1988)
  • My Girl (1989)
  • Not Fade Away (1990)
  • Wild Justice (1990)
  • I Only Want to Be With You (1995)
  • The Long Good Friday (1997)
  • Shadows on the Sun (2001)
  • Still Killing Time (2006)

Film and TVEdit

  • Substitute (1972)
  • Not Quite Cricket (1977)
  • Gotcha (1977)
  • Nipper (1977)
  • Champions (1978)
  • Hanging Around (1978)
  • Waterloo Sunset (1979)
  • King (1984)

Television seriesEdit

  • No Excuses (1983)

Radio playsEdit

  • Uncle Jack (1975)
  • Pigeon Skyline (1976)
  • Only a Game[10] (1976)
  • Heaven Scent[11] (1979) (Won a Giles Cooper Award for 1979)
  • Anything Known (1980)
  • Frozen Assets[12] (1987)
  • Paradise[13] (1989)
  • My Girl[14] (19992
  • On the Eve of the Millennium[15] (1999)
  • Feng Shui and Me (2001)
  • The Five of Us[16] (2002)

FilmEdit

NovelsEdit

  • Gadabout (1969)
  • No Excuses (1983)

Theatre adaptations and directionEdit

  • A Certain Vincent (1975)
  • A Gentle Spirit (1981)

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Ned Chaillet, "Barrie (Colin) Keeffe", in K. A. Berney, ed., Contemporary British Dramatists, Gale, 1994, pp. 387–91.
  2. ^ Chambers, Colin (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre, A&C Black, 2006, p. 415.
  3. ^ "BARBARIANS by Barrie Keefe To Be Staged In Birthplace of Punk", Broadway World, 7 September 2015.
  4. ^ Battersby, Matilda (18 April 2012), "Keeffe's Barbarians tip up in Tooting bringing 'astonishing relevance'", The Independent.
  5. ^ Clapp, Susannah (18 October 2015), "Barbarians review – still angry after all these years", The Observer.
  6. ^ "Barbarians", Matt Leventhall website.
  7. ^ Greenslade, Roy (7 October 2015), "Barrie Keeffe, a loss to journalism but what a gift to playwriting", The Guardian.
  8. ^ Coveney, Michael, (11 December 2019), "Barrie Keeffe obituary", The Guardian.
  9. ^ Clarke, Stewart (10 December 2019). "Barrie Keeffe, Writer of Classic British Gangster Movie 'The Long Good Friday,' Dies at 74". Variety. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  10. ^ BBC Genome, Only a Game by Barrie Keeffe, BBC Radio 4, 29 September 1976.
  11. ^ BBC Genome, Heaven Scent by Barrie Keeffe, Just Before Midnight, BBC Radio 4, 1979.
  12. ^ BBC Genome, Frozen Assets, BBC Radio 3, 30 January 1987.
  13. ^ BBC Genome, Paradise by Barrie Keeffe, BBC Radio 3, 19 December 1989.
  14. ^ BBC Genome, My Girl by Barrie Keeffe, BBC Radio 4, 12 October 1992.
  15. ^ On the Eve of the Millennium, BBC Radio 4, The Friday Play, 29 October 1999.
  16. ^ The Five of Us, BBC Radio 4, 20 December 2002.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit