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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
JUSTIN FLEMING (b. 1953) Fleming`s writing is marked by its universal subject
and style - Harold Pinter describing him as a writer `of authority and distinction.`
Pinter especially admired his `amazingly successful portrait of Samuel Beckett` in
Fleming`s classic drama, BURNT PIANO (Le Piano Brule), which short-listed him
for the NSW Premier`s Literary Award, the AWGIE award for Best Play, and earned
the New York New Dramatists Exchange Award. It was also chosen for the
inaugural exchange between the Melbourne Theatre Company and the Centaur
Fleming`s first play, HAMMER, was directed by Doug Anderson for Ensemble
Productions and the Festival of Sydney in 1981. His early writing caught the
attention of Dorothy Hewett, who introduced his work to foremost director, Richard
Wherrett AM, beginning a professional collaboration which lasted until
Wherrett`s death, and which included THE COBRA. In the role of the
aged Lord Alfred at 75 years, Sir Robert Helpmann gave what some describe as
the acting performance of his career in the Sydney Opera House when this now
famous play premiered in 1983. Wherrett also directed Fleming`s controversial
work in the Sydney Opera House, HAROLD IN ITALY, which Variety Magazine in
New York hailed as `a daring enterprise which forges new ground, where several art
forms are fused to create a work of magic. Fleming is revealed as a writer with a
gifted, elaborate imagination. In Harold In Italy he has written an original and
entertaining work of art`. The piece was subsequently produced at the
legendary Teatr Studijni, Lodz, Poland, directed by Peter Barlow. Other plays
include INDIAN SUMMER, THE NONSENSE BOY (Ensemble Productions),
JUNCTION (NIDA), THE MYTH OF THE PASSIVE CITIZEN (Short&Sweet/The
Edge Theatre) THE AWFUL MANNERS OF JAMES HOPPER,
CHILD of the DARK SUN and KANGAROO (Square Brackets Theatre Company).
Justin has the distinction of having twice being awarded the Keesing Studio
Fellowship to the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, where he wrote BURNT
PIANO, THE STARRY MESSENGER and COUP d`ETAT, which was shortlisted
for the Patrick White Award, nominated for an AWGIE award for Best Play and won
the Banff PlayRites Residency, Canada. His Paris journal is published by Halstead
Press in PARIS STUDIO. His adaptation of Emile Zola`s Au bonheur des dames,
THE DEPARTMENT STORE, won the inaugural Mitch Mathews Award at its
world premiere in The Old Fitzroy Theatre, Sydney, mounted by Parnassus Den
Productions and directed by Christopher Hurrell. COUP d`ETAT & OTHER PLAYS
(BURNT PIANO, THE COBRA, JUNCTION, THE STARRY MESSENGER,
KANGAROO) is published by Xlibris. As librettist and lyricist, Justin has worked on
a number of productions, including RIPPER - THE TERROR OF WHITECHAPEL,
with composer Thos Hodgson; CRYSTAL BALLS (Compact Opera/Sadler`sWells,
London) and TESS (Savoy, London and UK Tour) with Stephen Edwards;
SATANGO (Griffin/Riverside Theatres), with Stewart D`Arrietta; and Justin wrote
the lyrics to LAID IN EARTH with music by Damian Barbeler for the 2009
Queensland Music Festival.
Justin has degrees in Law from Sydney and Dublin, and a Master of Laws from
University College London. Written for ABC/BBC television, his history of the
common law, BARBARISM TO VERDICT, was published internationally by
HarperCollins, with a foreword by John Mortimer Q.C.. For ABC Television, Justin
wrote Part One of the history of cinema, THE CELLULOID HEROES. His other
publications include ALL THAT BROTHERS SHOULD BE, the history
of the ex-students` union of Saint Ignatius` College, Riverview, where he was the
Inaugural Dr. Anne Clark Writer-in-Residence (1997) and THE VISION SPLENDID,
the history of law firm, Carroll & O`Dea. Justin is also the author of THE CREST
OF THE WAVE, a history of Waverley College, published by
Allen & Unwin, and the sequel, THE WAVE ROLLS ON. Justin`s plays are
published in French by Lansman Editeur, translated by Jean-Pierre Richard.
He wrote Part 1 of THE CELLULOID HEROES, the history of Cinema in Australia.
Screenplays include LORD DEVIL, THE SHEDDING, and NELLIE.
Recent plays include THE HYPOCRITE, a translation of Moliere`s Tartuffe, which
The Age review called `a skilful and witty translation, thoroughly modern, a great
achievement, intelligent and entertaining, which brilliantly highlights the themes of
hypocrisy and enlightenment`, and ORIGIN, on the impact of Charles Darwin,
commissioned by the Melbourne Theatre Company.
For the Bell Shakespeare Company, Fleming translated Moliere's
THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES. In a review in The Australian, it was hailed as "a daring,
taut, extremely funny masterpiece of translation with Moliere's rapier wit a pleasure to watch."
Justin is the author of A LAND BEYOND THE RIVER, for the Storylines Cultural
Festival, November 2009. HIS MOTHER`S VOICE was shortlisted for the Rodney
Seaborn Playwrights Award 2010, the Edward Albee Masterclass 2010, and, for the
second time, won the Mitch Mathews Award for Best Play 2012.
JUNCTION, A LAND BEYOND THE RIVER and COUP d'ETAT formed a trilogy of plays
performed in the Storylines Festival 2012 at NIDA and the Bondi Pavillion Theatre.
Justin is the author of STAGELINES - Writing Scripts for the Stage (Phoenix
Education) and a play, CABAL, on the game of chance (commissioned by Murray Baker).
Justin is commissioned by Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
to write SOLDIER OF THE MIND on the Spanish Nobel winning neuroscientist, Santiago Cajal;
and to write SHELLSHOCK: GALLIPOLI TORTOISE for Riverside Theatres for the 2015 centenary
of the Anzac Landing. Justin is the author of DRESDEN, a play about Richard Wagner.
Justin has been Vice-President of The Australian Writers`s Guild and has served on the
Board of The Australian National Playwright`s Centre.
The Papers of Justin Fleming have been acquired by the State Library of New
Interests: Theatre, Film, Music, Science, Walking.
Published writer: Yes