Stephen Sewell (writer)

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Stephen Sewell
Born (1953-03-13) 13 March 1953 (age 65)
Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation Playwright, novelist and screenwriter
Nationality Australian

Stephen John Sewell (born 13 March 1953 in Liverpool, New South Wales) is an Australian playwright and screenwriter.

Born in Liverpool, New South Wales, Sewell's first theatre experience was in the 1970s in the fringe theatre while he was studying Science at the University of Sydney,[1] where his first play was staged in 1975.

In an interview in 2006 Sewell describes himself as an "angry writer" and a workaholic.[2] Fascinated by the social world, his work ranges across many fields of study, from economics and politics to philosophy and psychology, and while he is considered a writer obsessed with dark themes, he is not himself a pessimist, saying, "No artist, no creator, ever sets forth without hope, even if the thing they create appears to be carved out of pitch black despair."[3]

On 15 October 2012, Sewell was appointed Head of Writing at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.[4]




  • The Father We Loved on a Beach by the Sea (Currency Press ; Melbourne: Playbox Theatre Company, 1983, c1980) – first performed at Brisbane's La Boite Theatre company in 1978
  • Traitors (Alternative Publishing Co-operative : Nimrod Theatre Press, 1983) – first performed by the Australian Performing Group at the Pram Factory in Melbourne in 1979
  • Anger's Love
  • The Blind Giant is Dancing (Currency Press, 1985, c1983) – first performed Adelaide 1982
  • Welcome the Bright World (Nimrod Theatre Press, 1983)
  • Burn Victim – first performed Sydney 1983
  • Dreams in an Empty City (Currency Press in association with the State Theatre Company of South Australia, 1986) – first produced Adelaide 1986
  • Hate (Currency Press in association with Playbox Theatre Company and Belvior St. Theatre, 1988) – first performed Adelaide 1986
  • Miranda – first performed Adelaide 1989
  • Sisters (Currency Press in association with Playbox Theatre Company Melbourne, 1991) – first performed Melbourne 1991
  • King Golgrutha – first performed Adelaide 1991
  • The Garden of Granddaughters (Currency Press; Melbourne: Playbox Theatre Centre of Monash University, 1993) – first performed Melbourne 1993
  • Dust (Currency Press, 1997) – first performed Adelaide 1993
  • Identity By Helen Demidenko – first performed Adelaide 1996
  • The Sick Room (Currency Press in association with Playbox Theatre Centre, Monash University, 1999)
  • Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America (2003) – One of Australia's most awarded plays, dealing with the War on Terror
  • It Just Stopped – premiered at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne, and the Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney in 2006 and revived at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London in 2014[6]
  • The Secret Death of Salvador Dalí – first performed Edinburgh Fringe 2002
  • The Gates of Egypt – performed at the Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney 2007 Review
  • Three Furies: Scenes From the Life of Francis Bacon (2004) – first performed Sydney Opera House as part of the Sydney Festival in January 2005
  • The United States of Nothing – first performed at the Stables Theatre, Sydney 2006
  • Kandahar Gate - first performed at NIDA's Parade Theatre, Sydney 2014
  • Chrysalis (Co-written) -first performed at Sydney Opera House 2017

Film scripts[edit]


  • "The Gillies Republic" (1986) – episodes include:
"The Bjelke-Petersen Republic"
"The Keating Republic"
"The Howard Republic"
"The Hawke Republic"
"The Singleton Republic"
"The Carleton Republic"


  • Animal Kingdom, a crime story (Victory Books, 2010) a novel based on the film.
  • Babylon (Victory Books, 2011)


  1. ^ a b "Artist Profile – Stephen Sewell". OzArts on-line. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  2. ^ "The Hot Seat: Stephen Sewell, interview by Valerie Lawson" (PDF). Sydney Morning Herald, Arts Review. 23 September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  3. ^ "Theatre at the End of History. A Weekend with Stephen Sewell, 6–8 October 2006" (PDF). Australian Writers' Guild. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  4. ^ "Writer Stephen Sewell goes to NIDA". Books and Arts. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2015 – via ABC Radio National. 
  5. ^ "The Louis Esson Prize for Drama: Winner 2004". State Library of Victoria. Archived from the original on 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  6. ^ Billington, Michael (11 February 2014). "It Just Stopped – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 

External links[edit]