Robin Hawdon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robin Hawdon (born 28 March 1939)[1] is an English playwright and novelist, with previous additional careers as actor and theatre director. He is best known for his stage comedies and novels.[2]


Robin Hawdon was educated at Whitgift Grammar School and Uppingham public school. He later attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.[3]



His career as an actor was first established with seasons at Chesterfield,[4] York, Guildford[5] and Bristol Old Vic[6] repertory theatres, and in London's West End in a variety of roles including Roar Like A Dove (Phoenix), The Last Joke (Phoenix), The Easter Man (title role - Globe), Misalliance (Royal Court), One Over The Eight (Duke of Yorks).[5] He also played Hamlet in Cape Town, Prince Hal and Henry V at York, and Henry Higgins in Pygmalion at Salisbury.[5][2]

He made many TV appearances, in particular in the series Compact (BBC 1964),[7] The Flying Swan (BBC 1965),[8] Spasms (co-star with Jonathan Pryce - Thames TV) and Chalk and Cheese,[9] (co-star with Michael Crawford - Thames TV 1977). He appeared in a number of films, including The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), We Joined the Navy (1962), Bedazzled (1967), Zeta One'(star)' (The Love Factor in the USA) (1969),[10] When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (star) (1970), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Episode 26 – The Smile Behind the Veil as Grant (1970), Burke & Hare (1971) and I Want What I Want (1972).[1][11] He was scheduled by the James Bond producers to film test for the role, but the test was cancelled when Roger Moore finally accepted the part.[2]


His writing career began in the early 1960s with plays produced at the Hampstead Theatre, and The King's Lynn and Salzburg Festivals, and with a nationwide tour of The Hero starring Roy Dotrice. His first large commercial success was with the comedy The Mating Game,[12] which had a long run at London's Apollo Theatre and played in over 30 countries around the world.[2] 

Subsequently, a number of comedies played regularly on tour and internationally, many being published by Samuel French[13] and Josef Weinberger.[14] These were followed by his farce Don't Dress for Dinner[15][16][17][18][19][20] (loosely based on a French play by Marc Camoletti) which ran for six years in London and subsequently on Broadway, and plays regularly in theatres around the English speaking world.[21]

Hawdon's comedy Birthday Suite has played on and off for over thirty-five years across Europe, as it was first played in 1983 at the Redgrave Theatre, Farnham.[22][23][24] His comedy Shady Business played in Paris for five months at the Michodière Theatre. His most globally performed comedy is Perfect Wedding[25][26][27][28][29]

His straight play, God And Stephen Hawking,[30] based on Hawking’s life and his best-selling book A Brief History of Time, toured the UK in 2000 starring Robert Hardy and Stephen Boxer.[31]

He has written several novels, notably A Rustle In The Grass[32][33][34][35] (Hutchinson), and Survival Of The Fittest[36][37][38][39] (Strategic Publishing). 'Number Ten' political thriller short-listed for the International Thriller Prize [40]

His memoir Almost Famous (2021) was published on Amazon.[41][42]

Among his latest stage comedies are Stage Fright and A Night in Provence. Stage Fright is also known as Coup de Grace and in the United States as Diamonds and Divas. The comedy was premiered in Germany, in 2017 and later played in Australia and Canada.[43][44][45][46]

A Night in Provence premiered in Germany and United Kingdom and later played in Zürich, Switzerland and Massachusetts, United States.[47][48][49]


Hawdon directed various plays in the provinces and in London, including The Magic Of Young Houdini[50] (Phoenix), Suez (Savoy). He founded the Bath Fringe Festival[51] in the 1980s and subsequently became Director of Bath Theatre Royal.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne, the son of Bunty (née Middleton) and James Hawdon, a businessman.[52] At the age of eight his family moved to Surrey where he lived for most of his school years. After graduating from RADA he lived in London for twenty years, after which he decided to curtail his acting career and concentrate on writing, and he and his family moved to Bath, Somerset.[2]

In 1968, he married actress and psychoanalyst Sheila Davies with whom he has two daughters.[52]

Hawdon lives between Bath, the South of France, and Australia.


  1. ^ a b "Robin Hawdon". BFI. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "This Week's Must Read: Number Ten by Robin Hawdon".
  3. ^ "Robin Hawdon — RADA".
  4. ^ "Robin Hawdon - Chesterfield Theatre Friends". Chesterfield Theatre. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Robin Hawdon | Theatricalia".
  6. ^ "Sarah Desmond | Viennas English Theatre".
  7. ^ "Compact: The Night Visitors". 5 March 1964. p. 41 – via BBC Genome.
  8. ^ "The Flying Swan: An Ideal Guest". 22 May 1965. p. 7 – via BBC Genome.
  9. ^ "BBC - Comedy Guide - Chalk And Cheese". Archived from the original on 7 April 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Robin Hawdon". MUBI. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  11. ^ "I Want What I Want (1972) - John Dexter | Cast and Crew | AllMovie" – via
  12. ^ "The Mating Game | Samuel French". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Search | Samuel French". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Hawdon, Robin | Josef Weinberger". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Don't Dress for Dinner | Samuel French". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  16. ^ Tracy, Sheila. "Don't Dress For Dinner review at Mill at Sonning | Review | Theatre". The Stage. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Don't Dress for Dinner: Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  18. ^ "DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER on Broadway Reviews - Critics Ratings". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Talkin' Broadway Review: Don't Dress for Dinner". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  20. ^ Company, Lantern Theater. "Don't Dress for Dinner by Marc Camoletti | Lantern Theater Company". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Robin Hawdon – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB".
  22. ^ "BIRTHDAY SUITE by Robin Hawdon". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  23. ^ "Falcon Players - Birthday Suite, by Robin Hawdon". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  24. ^ Tracy, Sheila. "Birthday Suite review at Mill at Sonning | Review | Theatre". The Stage. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  25. ^ "Perfect Wedding | Samuel French". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  26. ^ "Theater". The Moscow Times. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  27. ^ Randi Bjornstad (15 June 2017). "Perfect wedding? Of course not, when it's a fast-paced British farce onstage at the VLT". Eugene Review. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  28. ^ Leary, Johnna (8 May 2016). "Review: 'Perfect Wedding' at the Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater and Children's Theater". DC Metro Theater Arts. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  29. ^ "ACTC Theater announces fall season, auditions - The Tribune". The Tribune. 19 August 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  30. ^ "GOD AND STEPHEN HAWKING | Plays & Pantomimes | Josef Weinberger". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  31. ^ "Hawking to join God in the spotlight". the Guardian. 3 June 2000.
  32. ^ Hawdon, Robin (7 December 2014). A Rustle in the Grass. Thistle Publishing.
  33. ^ A Rustle in the Grass – via
  34. ^ "A Rustle in the Grass : Robin Hawdon : 9781910198520". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  35. ^ "A Rustle In The Grass". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  36. ^ Hawdon, Robin (June 2013). Survival of the Fittest. Strategic Book. ISBN 978-1625166173.
  37. ^ "Survival of the Fittest". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  38. ^ Survival of the Fittest – via
  39. ^ Survival of the Fittest by Robin Hawdon.
  40. ^ . ASIN 1839520000. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ . ASIN 1922375063. {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  42. ^ {{cite book}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  43. ^ "Stage Fright - A Robin Hawdon Play - Robin Hawdon Oficial Website". Robin Hawdon. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  44. ^ Trembath, Murray (17 May 2018). "Arts Theatre Cronulla Presents Robin Hawdon Play Coup de Grace For The First Time In Southern Hemisphere". St George & Sutherland Shire Leader. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  45. ^ Kary, David (12 April 2018). "COUP DE GRACE @ ARTS THEATRE CRONULLA". Sydney Arts Guide. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  46. ^ "Coup de Grace". artstheatrecronulla. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  47. ^ "Theatre III Presents A NIGHT IN PROVENCE by Robin Hawdon". Acton, MA Patch. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  48. ^ "A Night in Provence | Samuel French". Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  49. ^ Tracy, Sheila. "A Night in Provence review at Mill at Sonning Reading | Review | Theatre". The Stage. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  50. ^ "ROB WILTON THEATRICALIA Musicals 1970s". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  51. ^ "Robin Hawdon Biography on". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  52. ^ a b "Hawdon, Robin 1939- |". Retrieved 11 December 2018.

External links[edit]