Glenn Chandler

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Glenn Chandler
Born (1949-03-12) 12 March 1949 (age 72)
Edinburgh, Scotland
OccupationPlaywright, screenwriter, novelist
GenreCrime fiction
Notable worksTaggart
Notable awardsBAFTA
1991 best drama series award – Taggart

Writers' Guild Award
1993 best original drama series – Taggart

Glenn Chandler (born 12 March 1949) is a Scottish playwright, novelist, producer and theatre director. He has written plays for theatre and radio, original screenplays for television and films, television series, and also novels.[1] His best known work is the Scottish television detective series Taggart, which was commissioned by Scottish Television for the ITV Network from 2 July 1985 until 7 November 2010, and which continues to be broadcast around the world.[2] Since the completion of Taggart in 2010, Glenn Chandler has focused on writing for the theatre, with a consistent run of productions in both London and Edinburgh.[3]


Early life and Taggart[edit]

Glenn Chandler was born in Edinburgh in 1949, and educated at the Royal High School in the city. He moved from Scotland to London and began writing for the Soho Poly, where his early plays were produced.[4] He went on to write for BBC Television and Radio, and for Granada Television (including its series Crown Court) before creating and writing his own series Taggart for STV Productions (ITV Network).

Chandler created Taggart for STV's Controller of Drama, Robert Love, who wanted to set a police series in Glasgow. Chandler was inspired by true crime and real life, and even lifted the names of characters for the series from gravestones in Maryhill Cemetery in Glasgow.[2] The series continued even after the death of the actor Mark McManus, who played the lead role of Jim Taggart, and became the longest-running police drama on British television.[2]

Theatre career[edit]

Return to theatre[edit]

Glenn Chandler has continued to write for his first love, theatre, and has also written a series of books featuring a Brighton detective, DI Madden.[1] In 2008, Chandler took two plays to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as a producer. These were Boys of the Empire, a satirical play written by Chandler himself, and What's Wrong With Angry?, a drama set in 1992, when the age of consent for homosexuals was 21.[5] Both shows were directed by Patrick Wilde, with whom Chandler shares a literary agency, MBA.[1]

Since then, Chandler has worked almost exclusively in theatre. After transferring Boys of the Empire to the Kings Head Theatre in Islington, he wrote and produced Scouts in Bondage for the same theatre in 2009. His next production was the successful Cleveland Street: The Musical in 2010, which he wrote and produced for the Above The Stag Theatre, which was at its original location in Victoria. He made his directing debut with the award-winning The Custard Boys which he adapted from the novel by John Rae, and this was produced at the Tabard Theatre in 2011. He followed that up at the same theatre with The Lamplighters in 2012, a murder thriller with a supernatural edge, which he wrote, produced and directed. In 2013, he took two productions to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Sandel and Killers. Sandel, which he directed, was his controversial adaptation of Angus Stewart's novel of the same name, about a love affair between a student and a choirboy. Killers was a study of the correspondence of serial killers Dennis Nilsen, Peter Sutcliffe and Ian Brady, and was directed by Liam Rudden. In 2014, he transferred Sandel to the Above The Stag Theatre at its new premises in Vauxhall with a largely new cast.

Success on the fringe[edit]

In 2017, Chandler adapted the 1967 novel Lord Dismiss Us into a play for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in order to mark the 50th Anniversary of the partial legalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.[6] The play received positive reviews,[7][8][9][10] and subsequently transferred to the Above The Stag Theatre in London later that year.[11] The play was once again reviewed positively,[12][13][14] and received four Off West End Award nominations, including 'Best Production' and 'Best New Play'.[15]

2018 saw Chandler write and produce Kids Play for that year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[16] As was the case with Lord Dismiss Us, Chandler's latest production was well received by critics,[17][18] and was also the recipient of the Broadway Baby Bobby Award for the "Best show of the Fringe".[19] After its run in Edinburgh, Kids Play transferred to London's Above The Stag Theatre with a new cast.[20][21] Following the conclusion of the run of Kids Play in London, Glenn Chandler wrote another new play called The Boy Under the Christmas Tree for the 2018 Christmas season at the King's Head Theatre in Islington,[22] with Chandler again choosing to direct his own piece.[23] This play did not receive the same level of critical success as Lord Dismiss Us and Kids Play, and reviews were more mixed.[24] Stephen Vowles, writing for the Boyz magazine, described the play as an "intriguing piece of modern theatre",[25] whilst Greg Stewart of Theatre Weekly stated that "it's utter silliness, but remarkably funny".[26] These comments were contrasted, however, by other press reports, some of which criticised the humour of the piece.[27]

Latest work[edit]

2019 began with the revival of Glenn Chandler's musical Fanny and Stella, a production which initially premiered at the Above The Stag Theatre in 2015.[28] As was the case with the original, the 2019 production was directed by Steven Dexter.[29] Telling the real-life story of two Victorian cross-dressers called Boulton and Park, it was met with widespread positive reviews.[30][31]

Later that year, Chandler took a new play, The Good Scout, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[32] Having come across the true story of exchange visits between Hitler Youth and British Boy Scouts in the 1930s, he also took inspiration from the Brexit crisis of the time, comparing the "good intentions" of the exchange visits to the "devastation of Europe".[33] Following previews in London, The Good Scout premiered at Surgeons' Hall in Edinburgh, and was met with largely positive reviews.[34][35][36] The play was also the recipient of the ScotsGay Magazine Award for Best New Writing.[37]

Following its successful run in Edinburgh, The Good Scout transferred to the Above the Stag Theatre in London later that year.[38] The London version of the play, which used mostly the same cast, was met with further positive reviews from critics.[39][40][41]






Schools Radio

  • Inquiry 7 scripts
  • Life Time 2 scripts
  • Teenage Plays: Job, Which Job?

Radio Drama

  • A Little White Lie 30'
  • Rough Play 60'
  • Laddie Time 45'
  • Another Gaff, Another Night 45'
  • The Horseman's Word 30'
  • Wallace's Warblers 30'
  • Green Street Revisited 30'
  • Fisherman's Tales 30'
  • Wayfarers 30'


DI Madden series

  • Dead Sight (Hodder & Stoughton, October 2004)
  • Savage Tide (Hodder & Stoughton, July 2003)

Horror fiction

  • The Sanctuary (Hamlyn)
  • The Tribe (Hamlyn)

Non fiction

  • Burning Poison (Lea Valley Press)
  • Killer (Mainstream)
  • Taggart's Glasgow (Lennard Publishing)
  • The Sins Of Jack Saul (Grosvenor House Publishing)


  • BAFTA (1997) Taggart nominated for Best Drama Serial Award[42]
  • BAFTA (1995) nominated Best TV Writer[1]
  • Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award (1993) winner of Best Original Drama Serial[42]
  • BAFTA (1991) Taggart winner of Best Drama Serial Award[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "MBA official bibliography and full list of writing credits for Glenn Chandler". Archived from the original on 22 November 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  2. ^ a b c "SMG productions official history of Taggart". Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  3. ^ "Glenn Chandler discusses his love of theatre and his new play The Lamplighters" The Upcoming Retrieved 10 February 2019
  4. ^ "Soho Poly info about writers". Archived from the original on 25 May 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  5. ^ ""There's been a murder, Well, quite a few.." Edinburgh Evening News". Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  6. ^ "Taggart writer Glenn Chandler opens up about his new play marking 50 years since homosexuality was legalised" Daily Record Retrieved 18 November 2017
  7. ^ "Lord Dismiss Us Five Star Review, BroadwayBaby" BroadwayBaby Retrieved 18 November 2017
  8. ^ "Review: Lord Dismiss Us, theSpace at Surgeon’s Hall" A Younger Theatre Retrieved 18 November 2017
  9. ^ "Edinburgh Review: Lord Dismiss Us at The Space @ Surgeons Hall" Theatre Weekly Retrieved 18 November 2017
  10. ^ "Michael Campbell’s 1967 novel Lord Dismiss Us has been skilfully adapted by award-winning playwright Glenn Chandler." British Theatre Guide Retrieved 18 November 2017
  11. ^ "Lord Dismiss Us – The darkly funny new play at the UK’s only LGBT theatre." QX Magazine Retrieved 18 November 2017
  12. ^ "REVIEW: Lord Dismiss Us, Above The Stag ✭✭✭✭" Retrieved 18 November 2017
  13. ^ "Lord Dismiss Us, Above The Stag Theatre – Review" Everything Theatre Retrieved 18 November 2017
  14. ^ "Review of Lord Dismiss Us at Above The Stag Theatre" LondonTheatre1 Retrieved 18 November 2017
  15. ^ "The Offies (The Off West End Theatre Awards)" Archived 24 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine The Offies Retrieved 18 November 2017
  16. ^ "Boys of the Empire Productions - Kids Play" The Space Retrieved 02 February 2019
  17. ^ "Kids Play review at the Space, Edinburgh – ‘Expertly crafted comedy-drama’" The Stage Retrieved 02 February 2019
  18. ^ "Two men, a bag of sex-toys and some moral danger in a thriller from Glenn Chandler" The List Retrieved 02 February 2019
  19. ^ "Kids Play wins The Bobby Award for the best show of the Fringe" BroadwayBaby Retrieved 02 February 2019
  20. ^ "Kids Play Transfers To Above The Stag" British Theatre Retrieved 02 February 2019
  21. ^ "Kids Play review, Above The Stag" British Theatre Guide Retrieved 02 February 2019
  22. ^ "NEWS: Glenn Chandler follows Kids Play with The Boy Under the Christmas Tree premiere" My Theatre Mates Retrieved 02 February 2019
  23. ^ "Mystery, Mirth and Mayhem Surround The Boy Under The Christmas Tree" Broadway Baby Retrieved 02 February 2019
  24. ^ "The Boy Under The Christmas Tree at the King’s Head Theatre" London Theatre 1 Retrieved 02 February 2019
  25. ^ "The Boy Under The Christmas Tree at the King’s Head Theatre: Press Night Review by Stephen Vowles" Boyz Retrieved 02 February 2019
  26. ^ "Review: The Boy Under The Christmas Tree at King’s Head Theatre" The Space Retrieved 02 February 2019
  27. ^ "Theatre review: The Boy Under the Christmas Tree" Partially Obstructed View Retrieved 02 February 2019
  28. ^ "REVIEW: Fanny and Stella, Above The Stag " British Theatre Retrieved 11 June 2019
  29. ^ "Fanny and Stella: The Shocking True Story" The Spy in the Stalls Retrieved 11 June 2019
  30. ^ "REVIEW: Fanny and Stella, Above The Stag, 2019 production" British Theatre Retrieved 11 June 2019
  31. ^ "Fanny and Stella – At Above The Stag – Review" London Unattached Retrieved 11 June 2019
  32. ^ "NEWS: Glenn Chandler’s The Good Scout is first-ever play about the true Hitler Youth & Boy Scouts exchange" My Theatre Mates Retrieved 20 August 2019
  33. ^ "Brexit drives Taggart creator Glenn Chandler to write and premiere new play in Edinburgh" Edinburgh Evening News Retrieved 20 August 2019
  34. ^ "Edinburgh Review: The Good Scout @ theSpace" Theatre Weekly Retrieved 20 August 2019
  35. ^ "The Good Scout" British Theatre Guide Retrieved 20 August 2019
  36. ^ "Review: The Good Scout" SGFringe Retrieved 20 August 2019
  37. ^ "FEATURED SHOW: More ★★★★ reviews & an Offies nomination for The Good Scout in London" My Theatre Mates Retrieved 03 November 2019
  38. ^ "NEWS: The Good Scout transfers direct from Edinburgh for four-week London run" My Theatre Mates Retrieved 03 November 2019
  39. ^ "The Good Scout at Above The Stag: Press night review by Stephen Vowles " Boyz Magazine Retrieved 03 November 2019
  40. ^ "The Good Scout, Above The Stag Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until November 2, 2019" London Living Large Retrieved 03 November 2019
  41. ^ "The Good Scout by Glenn Chandler at Above the Stag | Review" London Theatre 1 Retrieved 03 November 2019
  42. ^ a b "IMDB Award page for Glenn Chandler". Retrieved 9 June 2008.

External links[edit]