|Bruce Stewart -
||BRUCE STEWART comes from New Zealand,
and began his career as an entertainer in
wartime concert parties in the Pacific
area (in Pago-Pago he just failed to play
on the same bill as Jack Benny).
Afterwards he became an actor in theatre
and radio in Sydney.
In the 1960s he journeyed to the UK with his
wife and young family, where he continued to work
as an actor, but also began scriptwriting. SHADOW
OF A PALE HORSE, his TV play about a search for
justice in the Australian outback, was an
international success, winning the Edgar Allen
Poe award in the US. (Later as a stage play it
also won the Charles Henry Foyle award in the
A number of one-shot TV plays followed, among
them THE DEVIL MAKES SUNDAY (ATV), THE SIN
SHIFTER and JUNGLE JUICE (Thames), DAY OF THE
DRONGO, OLD MAN MARCH IS DEAD, and HARP IN THE
SOUTH, an adaptation of Ruth Park's novel.
In the sci-fi field, Bruce wrote PICTURES DON'T
LIE (Thames), about aliens of miniature stature,
THE TYCOONS (Thames) and ANDOVER'S ANDROID (BBC),
both early comedies in the genre. LAMDA 1 (BBC)
concerned a journey into atomic space, and THE
DAEDALUS EQUATIONS concentrated on ESP. And then,
as they say, came TIMESLIP.
Bruce Stewart has written over a hundred
scripts for various TV series down the years.
Among those he can 'bear to remember' are
SHERLOCK HOLMES (2 series), SERGEANT CORK, a
Victorian crime series, MANHUNT, about escapees
in France in WW2, THE ONEDIN LINE, re-creating
the great days of sail, and CROWN COURT, which
speaks for itself.
He has never had much luck in the theatre,
though THE HALLELUJAH BOY, about worker-priests
in France, was at the Duchess in 1970, SHADOW OF
A PALE HORSE has had one or two rep productions,
and OUR ROMAN COUSINS, the story of Bonnie Prince
Charlie (another Stewart, though spelt
differently !) in his last drunken days in Italy,
was performed in Australia. His novels similarly
have never sold in their thousands, though A
DISORDERLY GIRL, the saga of three generations of
women from the convict era in Australia through
to Europe in WW2, and THE HOT AND COPPER SKY,
about a New Zealand family in the depression era,
From his Australian days on, Bruce Stewart has
never ceased writing for radio. His scripts here
are too numerous to list. Highlights of a 40 year
association with the BBC might be: STARS IN MY
HAIR (the story of Amy Johnson) - THE GALLOWS IN
MY GARDEN (the literary row between Shaw, Wells,
Belloc and Chesterton in the 20s) - NOW AND AT
THE HOUR OF OUR BIRTH (Jim Jones and the Peoples'
Temple suicide in Guyana) - HECTOR'S FIXED IDEA
(Berlioz and the Romantics) - SPEAK LOW (Kurt
Weill and Burt Brecht in the USA in the 1940s).
Bruce and his wife Helen raised their six
children in Surrey. For a period afterwards they
lived in Bath before finally settling on the
South Coast, very close to the sea, carefully
'keeping one foot on the island'.
Bruce Stewart died peacefully in his sleep on
29th September, 2005
^ back to the top