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Steve J Spears

STEVE J SPEARS  (1951 - 2007)

Nationality:    Australian
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    n/a

Literary Agent:    Cameron Creswell Agency  


Steve J. Spears was a one-off, a true original. A gifted actor, musician, playwright, journalist and novelist his large body of work defies categorization into any one convenient box while his creativity and innovation delighted in flaunting convention and breaking new ground. His colourful career was nurtured in Adelaide university revues of the late 60's/early 70's. After four years of law school he dropped-out to pursue a writing career, which resulted in his first rock musical 'Stud' - the title alone had the Festival of Light picketing the venue ensuring it became a huge success. Steve was a precocious talent. By the time he was 25 he had written two musicals, 'Stud' and 'Africa', the biographical play "Young Mo" about Adelaide-born comedian Roy Rene and 'The Elocution of Benjamin Franklin' - a one-man play about an ageing cross-dressing elocution teacher and his relationship with a young student. "Benjamin" was to become one of the most successful plays ever produced in Australia. First staged by Nimrod in 1976 the play toured nationally before major seasons in London, San Francisco and New York. The play was nominated for a SWET (Society of West End Theatres) Award, a London Evening Standard Award and went on to win three OBIE (Off Broadway) Awards and a GOLD AWGIE. Steve won a number of Awgies for both his theatre and television writing. 'Benjamin' had a recent Australian revival with John Wood in the role made famous by Gordon Chater. Steve's other plays include 'There Were Giants in Those Days', 'People Keep Giving Me Things', 'The Death of George Reeves' and 'Those Dear Departed' - which was made into a feature film starring Pamela Stephenson and Gary MacDonald. Steve gravitated into the world of TV scriptwriting where he quickly established himself as a major figure, writing for over ten years on many of the long running series including, 'E-Street', 'A Country Practice', 'Hey Dad', 'Neighbours' and more. But it was in children's film and television that his creativity and originality was given full reign. His long association with the Australian Children's Television Foundation resulted in a swag of awards for series and tele-features, including 'The Genie from Down Under', 'The Big Wish', 'mr Edmund' and 'The Greatest Tune on Earth'. In between his writing, Steve also managed to keep an active acting career going with major film roles in 'mad Max 2', 'The Empty Beach' and 'Warm Nights on a Slow Moving Train'. Various stage roles include several productions of 'The Rocky Horror Show', 'Hamlet' for the MTC and 'On Our Selection' for The Stage Company in Adelaide. Steve moved back to Adelaide several years ago during which time he had three novels published by Wakefield Press. He also wrote articles for The Good Weekend (in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald), was a cultural commentator on ABC radio, and a columnist for the Adelaide Review as well as developing several new works. After battling lung cancer for 12 months (during which time he comically referred to himself as "Bravelung" ) the disease spread early this year. He maintained an extraordinarily positive attitude over his last few months and continued to write articles for The Adelaide Review and work on his latest book, "God's Diary" from his hospital bed. Steve's passing will leave a gaping hole in the lives of his many friends and in the creative richness of Australia. Vale Steve.
- Rob George and Maureen Sherlock (Rob George [roomoo@ozemail.com.au]) for the Australian Writer's Guild

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below is a list of Steve J Spears's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

Africa-A Savage Musical         Dance Angelic, The         Death Of George Reeves, The         Elocution of Benjamin Franklin, The         Froggie         Glory         King Richard         Little Theatre, A         Namatjira Park         People Keep Giving Me Things         Resuscitation of the Little Prince Who Couldn't Laugh as Performed by Young Mo at the Height of the Great Depression of 1929, The (Young Mo)         Roaring Boy         Stud         There Were Giants In Those Days (Giants)         Those Dear Departed         Time Of The Bodgie, The         When They Send Me Three And Fourpence         Young Mo



Africa-A Savage Musical

Synopsis:
A savage trip through sexism, racism and the whole fucked-up western culture trip. "The Nation Review."

Notes:
Acoustic musical, heavy on percussion

1st Produced:
Pram Factory, Melbourne, by special arrangement with the Rock Theatre of Paris    1974

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Outback Press. Book, lyrics, music available from author's agent., 1978   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Musical

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  6            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Dance Angelic, The

Synopsis:
Gender confusion, identity confusion, abuse of power, S&M, love, treachery and death in the Office of The Premier during a normal day.

Notes:
Long one-act

1st Produced:
dance angelic    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
available from author's agent,   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Orton-esque farce

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Death Of George Reeves, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1978

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Script in the Hanger Collection, Fryer Library, University of Queensland, Australia. http://www.Austlit.edu.au >>>,

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Elocution of Benjamin Franklin, The

Synopsis:
Tragic consequences when an ageing elocution teacher falls in love with one of his young pupils.

Notes:
Winner of 3 OBIES for Best Play, Best Actor, Best Director

1st Produced:
Nimrod    1976

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in The Drag Show, Woollahra, N.S.W : Currency Press, 1977   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Tragi-comedy Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Froggie

Synopsis:
A man gives up his invisible wings and grows arms for the woman he loves.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Actors Company of Cleveland. (USA)    1983

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Yackandandah Press. available from author's agent., 1988   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Nightmare fairy-tale

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  3            Other:  f extras

Further Reference:
-

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Glory

Synopsis:
Gloria, 75, lies senile and dying in a nursing home. Her angry, obscene monologue is interrupted by her nurse, her daughter and a middle-aged patient as Gloria rages against the dying of the light

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
La Mama, Melbourne, Australia    1988

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Yackandandah Press. available from author's agent., 1988   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Very black comedy

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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King Richard

Synopsis:
A triple murderer confronts the Premier of Victoria in a game of politics, sex and death

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
La Boite Theatre, by special arrangement with the Rock Theatre of Paris    1978

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
UQP. Available from author's agent, 1980   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Black political comedy

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Little Theatre, A

Synopsis:
One night in the life of Sammy Singer- theatre manager, producer, actor, musician, lover, failure. Can he save his play? Can he save his Little Theatre? Can he save his own life?

Notes:
A long one-act semi-monologue. Could be complete night

1st Produced:
Unproduced    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
available from author's agent,   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
tragi-comedy Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Namatjira Park

Synopsis:
Benjamin Franklin is now 21. he's a homeless schizophrenic living with three alcoholics in Albert Namatjira Park living. Resurrection, DT's, suicide, rape, betrayal and murder to the sound of gospel, rock and roll and Gregorian a cappella.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Rock Theatre of Paris    1992

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
available from author's agent,   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
cappellmusical

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  1            Other:  3 a cappella singers. (2 female, I male.)

Further Reference:
-

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People Keep Giving Me Things

Synopsis:
A man/ woman is grateful for everything that comes their way - good and evil, both.

Notes:
Has been performed by men or women, Any Age. 20-30 minutes long.

1st Produced:
Circle Theatre Co. SA, , by special arrangement with the Rock Theatre of Paris    1975

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Outback Press. Available from author's agent., 1978   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Monologue Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  1 actor

Further Reference:
-

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Resuscitation of the Little Prince Who Couldn't Laugh as Performed by Young Mo at the Height of the Great Depression of 1929, The (Young Mo)

Synopsis:
The life and death of Roy Rene "Mo" in the style of Samuel Beckett and the Footlights Review

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Circle Theatre Co by special arrangement with the Rock Theatre of Paris    1975

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Showbiz bio/ musical

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Script in the Hanger Collection, Fryer Library, University of Queensland, Australia. http://www.Austlit.edu.au >>>,

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Roaring Boy

Synopsis:
William Shakespeare is 32, likes grog, opium, boys, women hustling, money and the theatre. He's the lover of Queen Elizabeth and the toast of London. The problem is he's just written "King Lear" and everybody thinks it's a turkey. The problem is Anne Hathaway wants to divorce him. The problem is he's a secret Catholic. The problem is his beloved son is about the die. The problem is the Queen's going to hang him. Sex and drugs!! The real story of the inglorious first night of Wm Shakespeare's "King Lear".

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Unproduced    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
available from author's agent,   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Comedy/ farce Comedy

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Stud

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
rock musical Musical

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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There Were Giants In Those Days (Giants)

Synopsis:
A year after Batman's death, Superman and Wonder Woman are the only heroes to gather at Wayne mansion to mourn with Robin. A wild night of sex, drugs, self-discovery and assassination

Notes:
Robin is gay. Superman is overweight. Wonder Woman is An Alcoholic.

1st Produced:
Circle Theatre Co by special arrangement with the Rock Theatre of Paris.    1975

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Dark Comedy Comedy

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Script in the Hanger Collection, Fryer Library, University of Queensland, Australia. http://www.Austlit.edu.au >>>,

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Those Dear Departed

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
made into A feature film starring Pamela Stephenson And Gary MacDonald

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Time Of The Bodgie, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1980

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play with Music

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Script in the Hanger Collection, Fryer Library, University of Queensland, Australia. http://www.Austlit.edu.au >>>,

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When They Send Me Three And Fourpence

Synopsis:
1963. Robert O'Brien, the future protagonist of The Elocution of Benjamin Franklin runs a fading Dance Academy as Robert's life and the 60's themselves unravel under the deaths of John F Kennedy and Pope John 23rd. "When in despair, keep dancing."

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Griffin Theatre Co    1980

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Currency Press, Sydney,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Tragedy with songs and dancing. Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Young Mo

Synopsis:
biographical play "Young Mo" about Adelaide-born comedian Roy Rene

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
The Space, Adelaide    16 Dec 1975

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Script in the Hanger Collection, Fryer Library, University of Queensland, Australia. http://www.Austlit.edu.au >>>,

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