Fred Lawless is a British playwright from Liverpool who writes mainly for the stage, but who has also written for television and radio.
After grammar school he attended Liverpool Catering College and trained as a hotel manager, eventually working in several Liverpool City Centre hotels. Several years later he gave up hotel management and ran a stall at the famous Paddy's Market in Liverpool. While working there he met Jonte Wilkins, and the two of them started the UK's first kissogram company, Champagne-a-gram from an office in Aigburth. Shortly after Wilkins left for the US and eventually became the drummer for the British band a Flock of Seagulls. Lawless continued to run the kissogram business for several years, eventually employing 30 staff. One of the kissogram staff he employed was Mal Young who worked for him as a Tarzan-a-gram. After leaving Champagne-a-gram Young entered the TV industry and eventually became producer of Liverpool based soap opera Brookside. Many years later Young interviewed Lawless with a view to him joining the writing team at Brookside, but instead he chose to write for the London based TV series EastEnders.
In addition to his TV work, he has also written for BBC Radio. Nowadays he works primarily in theatre.
Fred Lawless is a director of The Script Vault, a script registration service for writers who wish to protect their copyright, which he formed in 2002. Several years earlier he had submitted a TV series proposal to a major television network, and though the proposal was rejected, his ideas were used to create a TV show that eventually ran for six series - Lawless did not receive credit or payment for his work. After discovering he had no recourse under UK Copyright Law, he formed The Script Vault in an attempt to stop other writers having their work plagiarised in the same way. The Script Vault is the only UK based Script Registration service recommended by The Writer's Guild of Great Britain.
- BEST! – a fictional comedy musical about the Beatles and their first drummer Pete Best at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre and the Dublin Theatre Festival.
- Sleeping Cities, Distant Dreams – at the Royal Exchange Theatre module in Manchester.
- Educating Peter – at the Liverpool Playhouse Studio.
- Beyond Benidorm – at the Liverpool Playhouse Studio.
- Slappers and Slapheads – a comedy (co-written with Len Pentin) first performed in 2003 at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool. The play was staged again in 2004 at the Liverpool Empire Theatre and the Manchester Opera House, before returning again to the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool in February 2009. Following the 2009 production the play won the Liverpool Daily Post Readers Award for Best Production and Best Comedy
- Merry Ding Dong – a comedy musical staged at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool from 11 December 2009 to 23 January 2010.
- A Fistful of Collars – a comedy staged at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool from 16 April 2010 to 15 May 2010.
- Scouse Pacific – a comedy musical staged at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool from 26 November 2010 to 8 January 2011. The show was extended until 15 January and then extended again until 22 January.
- Little Scouse on the Prairie – a comedy musical staged at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool from 25 November 2011 to 7 January 2012. The show was extended until 21 January.
- A Nightmare on Lime Street – a comedy musical staged at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool from 23 November 2012 to 12 January 2013. The show was extended until 26 January.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to Fazakerley – a comedy musical staged at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool from 22 November 2013 to 11 January 2014.
- Close Enough To Touch – a dramatisation of the 1939 HMS Thetis submarine disaster in Liverpool Bay for BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Merseyside and the BBC World Service.
- Paradise People – a 24 part comedy series for BBC Radio Merseyside (co-written with Len Pentin)
- The Liverpool Quiz Book – K. Hignett, 1986, Gallery Press (South Wirral)
- The Script Vault.
- Famous Everton Fans – Fred Lawless.
- Review – BEST! – 'It could have all been a bit intense, instead it was largely hilarious.' 'Brilliant... for Pete's sake, go!' Liverpool Echo
- Review – BEST! – 'Very entertaining …good jokes abound. 'The Sacking of Pete Best' By Spencer Leigh ISBN 978-1-900711-04-3
- Review – Slappers and Slapheads – July 2003 'One of the best nights of home-grown comedy theatre to be enjoyed in a long time.'
- Review – Slappers and Slapheads – February 2009 'Some great lines, great actors and great tunes'
- Slappers and Slapheads wins Liverpool Daily Post Best Production and Best Comedy awards
- Review – Merry Ding Dong in the Stage newspaper – December 2009 'possibly the Christmas show to see on Merseyside'
- Review – Merry Ding Dong in the Guardian newspaper – January 2010 'Lawless's writing is designed to inspire the laughter of recognition'
- Review – A Fistful Of Collars in the Liverpool Daily Post – April 2010 'has the audience roaring.'
- Review – A Fistful Of Collars on www.clickliverpool.com – April 2010 'two hours of hilarity and mayhem'
- Review – Scouse Pacific in The Stage – December 2010 'cleverly written, brilliantly acted and totally crazy... Lawless has the ability to make even the most ridiculous plot work'
- Review – Scouse Pacific on www.liverpoolconfidential.com – December 2010 'it all works rather brilliantly... go and see it. Now!'
- Review – Scouse Pacific in The Liverpool Echo – December 2010 'great fun... a Christmas cracker.'
- Review – Scouse Pacific – The Liverpool Daily Post – December 2010 'I was blown away... superb... a wildly enthusiastic audience..'
- Review – Little Scouse On The Prairie on www.whatsonstage.com – December 2011 'Lawless has another hit on his hands!'
- Review – Little Scouse On The Prairie on www.thepublicreviews.com – December 2011 'One of the most original comic plays seen in recent times!'
- Review – Little Scouse On The Prairie in The Liverpool Echo – December 2011 'A huge amount of fun 8/10'
- Review – Little Scouse On The Prairie on www.clickliverpool.com December 2011 'A writer of clear comic talent.'
- Review – A Nightmare on Lime Street on www.liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk – December 2012 '...brilliant', 'Fred Lawless’ script delivers yet again' '5 stars'
- Review – A Nightmare on Lime Street on www.whatsonstage.com – December 2012 'Lawless’ show deserves a 5 star rating as an unmissable production this Christmas' '5 stars'
- Review – A Nightmare on Lime Street on www.thepublicreviews.com – December 2012 'writer Fred Lawless once again brings the humour to the stage in bucket loads' '4 stars'
- Review – A Nightmare on Lime Street on www.clickliverpool.com December 2012 'Acclaimed writer Fred Lawless continues his run of fine form with another fantastic festive production' 'hilarious and original' '9/10'
- Review – The Hitchhiker's Guide to Fazakerley on www.wirralglobe.co.uk – December 2013 'Royal Court show is out of this world!' 'This is the fifth Fred Lawless written festive show and the best. A law unto himself but who pitches his Panto meets slapstick with great skill. 9/10'
- Review – The Hitchhiker's Guide To Fazakerley on www.liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk – December 2013 '...immensely enjoyable', 'Fred Lawless delivers the precise remedy for the winter blues 9/10'
- Review – The Hitchhiker's Guide To Fazakerley on www.clickliverpool.com December 2013 '...a fun-filled feast that will have the theatre’s audiences laughing out loud at the shenanigans taking place on stage. 5/5'
- Review – The Hitchhiker's Guide To Fazakerley on www.liverpool-live.info December 2013 '...a hilarious new show ', 'It is writer Fred Lawless’ fifth consecutive year and he’s produced a feel good, laugh out loud, scousetastic festive treat'
- Review – Close Enough To Touch 'I can say that this represents the very best of radio, engaging the imagination and emotions'
- Royal Court Theatre Liverpool Current & Future Shows
- www.radiolistings.co.uk Details of radio plays written by Fred Lawless
- Doollee – The Playwrights Database Details of stage plays written by Fred Lawless
- Royal Court Liverpool website
- Writers' Guild Article about Fred Lawless
- Liverpool Daily Post Newspaper Article about Fred Lawless
- Wikipedia page for HMS Thetis
- The Script Vault website