Stephen Sinclair

Stephen Sinclair is one of New Zealand's most successful playwrights and screenwriters.

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. Ladies Night (co-written with Anthony McCarten) which premiered in Auckland in 1987, continues to be performed internationally with productions in Germany, Scandanavia, Finland, Austria, Canada, and France where it won the Moliere Award for Best Stage Comedy of 2001.

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".

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.

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 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 (which was developed through their final draft programme in 2003), a success they repeated in 2005. The Bach has continued to prove its appeal to New Zealand audiences with productions in 2004 by Wellington's Circa Theatre and again by ATC at the Christchurch Arts Festival – Applause 2005 and the Taranaki Arts Festival 2005.

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, and received a credit on the second, The Two Towers.

He wrote and directed the short film Ride which screened at numerous international festivals, and was sold to several television networks, including Sky TV. In mid 2008 he will be directing his first feature film, entitled Russian Snark, from his script.

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

Stephen's first novel, the children’s book Thief of Colours was published in 1995. His first adult novel, entitled Dread, published in 2000, was described in the review in the NZ Listener as an impressive debut.

His collection of poetry, The Dwarf and the Stripper, appeared in 2003. Poems from the collection have been selected for two anthologies: Spirit Abroad: a Second Selection of Spiritual New Zealand Verse and 121 New Zealand Poems, selected by Bill Manhire.


Le Matau (Co-written with Samson Samasoni). Premiere: The Depot Theatre, Wellington, 1984.

Ladies Night (Co-written with Anthony McCarten). Premiere: Mercury Theatre, Auckland, 1987.

Big Bickies Premiere: The Depot Theatre, Wellington, 1988.

The Sex Fiend (Co-written with Danny Mulheron). Premiere: Bats Theatre, Wellington, 1989.

Caramel Cream Premiere: The Depot Theatre, Wellington, 1991.

Legless (Co-written with Anthony McCarten). Premiere: Court Theatre, Christchurch, 1994.

Ladies Night 2: Raging On (Co-written with Anthony McCarten). Court Theatre, 1993.

Braindead: The Musical (Co-written with Frances Walsh). Premiere: Watershed Theatre, Auckland, 1995.

Blowing It (Co-written with Stephen Papps). Premiere: Silo Theatre, Auckland, 1999.

The Bellbird Premiere: The Maidment Theatre, 2002. Produced by the Auckland Theatre Company.

The Bach Premiere: Auckland Theatre Company 2004 (The Bach was developed as part of ATCs Final Draft script development programme in 2003).

Drawer of Knives Premiere: Circa Theatre 2006.