Stephen Sinclair

Stephen Sinclair has been writing for the stage and screen for over thirty years.

Ladies Night (co-written with Anthony McCarten) which premiered in Auckland in 1987, continues to be performed throughout the world. In 2001 it won the Moliere Award in France for Best Stage Comedy. His play The Sex Fiend (co-written with Danny Mulheron) which premiered at Bats Theatre in 1989, went on to play return seasons in all the main centres.

In 1991 Stephen tackled the difficult and emotive subject of biculturalism within NZ society in Caramel Cream. Performed at Wellington’s Depot Theatre, it proved, as one critic stated, that Sinclair is a writer who ‘…not only has a gift for comedy but also can tackle complex moral issues with uncompromising toughness.’

Stephen has written the musicals Big Bickies, which premiered concurrently at the Fortune Theatre in Dunedin and Depot Theatre in Wellington; and Braindead, his stage adaptation of the Peter Jackson film, which played in Auckland and Wellington in 1995.

In 1999 Stephen directed the one man play Blowing It (co-written and performed by Stephen Papps). The play toured nationally, going on to the Edinburgh Festival in 2001, where it received 5 star reviews. It has since toured Australia and Europe.

In June of 2002 the Auckland Theatre Company mounted a main-bill production of Stephen’s historical play The Bellbird. Herald reviewer Peter Calder called it ‘a play of heart and soul and a valuable addition to our literature.’ 

In 2004 ATC premiered The Bach and in 2006 his surrealist thriller Drawer of Knives was produced at Circa Theatre in Wellington.

Stephen has had a long screenwriting partnership with Academy Award Winners Peter Jackson and Frances Walsh. In 1990 he co-scripted Meet the Feebles and in 1991 Braindead, which won Best Screenplay at the 1993 New Zealand Film and Television Awards. He worked with Peter and Fran on the three-feature adaptation of Lord of the Rings, receiving a writer’s credit on The Two Towers.

His one hour television comedy drama Love Mussel screened in 2001.

He wrote and directed the short film Ride which screened at numerous international festivals and on television. His feature film Russian Snark, which premiered at the NZ Film Festival in 2010.

Stephen’s collection of poetry, The Dwarf and the Stripper, appeared in 2003. Poems from the collection were selected for two anthologies: Spirit Abroad: a Second Selection of Spiritual New Zealand Verse and 121 New Zealand Poems, selected by Bill Manhire. He has also written the children’s novel Thief of Colours, (1995); and for adults Dread (2000).