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David Cregan


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Estates, Writers: Playwrights

David’s writing career spanned 40 years. He was born in Buxton, Derbyshire, the youngest of four boys and studied English at Clare College, Cambridge where he was an active member of the Footlights. He taught English and Drama in schools briefly, becoming a full-time playwright in 1966 after sending MINIATURES to Keith Johnson at the Royal Court. Soon after he wrote a Sunday night double bill of THE DANCERS and TRANSCENDING, with the latter transferring to the main billing. 

He continued to write plays for the Royal Court over the next few years including A COMEDY OF THE CHANGING YEARS which opened the Court’s Theatre Upstairs. David’s long-term relationship with director Sam Waters began in Edinburgh. Between 1972 and 2005, David wrote eight plays for The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, (which Sam founded), including WHISPERS ALONG THE PATIO, a co-production with the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough (another theatre also in the round), POOR TOM and NICE DOROTHY. His last play, SUMMER AGAIN (2004) was performed there also. 

David has also collaborated extensively with Brian Protheroe, writing a total of six pantomimes for the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, of which Cinderella (1989) was nominated for the Whitbread Prize for Fringe Play for Children. He was also an award winning radio dramatist, writing for BBC Radio 3, 4 and for the World Service. 

In 2006 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. He died peacefully just before his 84th birthday in 2015. The V&A look after his entire archive which is catalogued online. 

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