Michael Eaton is an award-winning dramatist who wrote TV drama-documentaries Why Lockerbie, Shoot to Kill and Shipman and original dramas including Signs and Wonders and Flowers Of The Forest. His script for Fellow Traveller won Best Screenplay at the British Film Awards in 1989.
Michael has written four plays for Nottingham Playhouse of which the last was Charlie Peace – His Amazing Life and Astounding Legend. He has adapted works of Charles Dickens for BBC Radio and his adaptation of Great Expectations premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2016.
He studied Social Anthropology at King’s College, Cambridge and his documentary, The Masks of Mer, is about Alfred Haddon who made the first ethnographic films in the Torres Straits in 1898.
He was awarded the M.B.E. for Services to Film in 1999 and was Visiting Professor in the School of Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University.
My inspirations have been cinematic and social scientific rather than literary. Nouvelle vague: Jean-Luc Godard; outsider Hollywood: Sam Peckinpah; above all, England’s greatest documentarist: Humphrey Jennings.
My play Drella and the MacGuffin, about the meeting of Alfred Hitchcock and Andy Warhol, exemplifies a passion for two improbably connected film-makers. As a would-be anthropologist Tristes Tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss remains invaluable.
From my grandfather, a non-conformist textile worker, I inherited the complete works of Charles Dickens. At the age of eighteen my friend Seamus and myself set off on the obligatory overland trip to India taking two large volumes: The Golden Bough and Ulysses – one of which is certainly the best book I’ve ever read, the other I still endeavour to comprehend. Which is which? In the bitter winter of 1977 with my thumb out on an Interstate in Missouri the book I wish I’d never opened was On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
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