is a playwright and librettist.
Edinburgh and raised in Hamilton, Scotland, he studied,
lived and worked in London before
moving to Melbourne, Australia.
Early Works in Theatre
After studying Drama & Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths College
, University of London
, Alan's first play
THE PIANO LESSON (2005), a work based on the Matisse painting won
the Orange Playwriting Prize 2005 (best play by a new Scottish
writer). This led to a successful production at Òran Mór, Glasgow
with Joanne Cummings playing Hannah, the piano student who makes up
for a chaotic personal life with an obsession for music and
particularly her piano teacher, the unseen and much lusted-over
This was followed by THE GYNTISH SELF (2006) , a energetic romp
through the classic tale of Peer Gynt
co-written with Rob Drummond and Ewen Glass and produced by the
young, Scottish Theatre Company Measureless Liars, "A jaunty skim
through our hero's search for self that takes in street-smart
localised patois and a deadpan acquisition of pop psychology
therapy speak. "I just need to re-focus, " says Peer in one moment
of reflection" Glasgow Herald
2006, Alan worked with Eugene Skeef and
the London Philharmonic
Orchestra creating librettos, words and movements for community
symphonies such as PECKHAM SPLASH (2006), performed in The Queen
Elizabeth Hall, South Bank
This project grew out of an
ability, which Alan and Eugene Skeef shared, to quickly generate
music and lyrics from stories that the people of Peckham shared in
workshops, a series of stories that formed the basis of the musical
LONDON EXCITE: A Symphony of London (2007/8). London Excite
wasdeveloped out of Alan and Eugene's experience of doing community
work with the orchestra but was always meant to be on a vast scale.
Commissioned as the Orchestra's 75th anniversary symphony and the
culmination of the Royal Festival Hall's re-opening season: the
work used a full orchestra, 160-piece choir and 6 soloists to tell
the story of London, who it is, what it as and who it's people are.
Alan generated the libretto from fragments of poetry, music,
workshops and stories that collected in a journey through London.
Follow the link for the full poem or see the rehearsals and
experience some of the music . London Excite was presented at The Royal
Festival Hall, 7 June 2008 .
Since moving to Melbourne Australia in Late 2006, Alan has been
working on an operatic journey through Australia THE AUSTRALIAN
CONSTITUTION: TEN SMALL OPERAS ABOUT ONE BIG COUNTRY (2007/9).
November 2008 one of the operas was presented as a work-in-progress
at La Mama,
Carlton with the first five of the small operas being
presented in August 2008 at the Carlton Courthouse , with plans to
stage the complete work in 2010.
Back to the Theatre
Alan is currently working on two plays: one based on the classic
poem Memories of Christmas by Dylan
and a play on the life of William Dobell
, a major collaboration with
the artist John Kelly
should be seen in 2010.