Theatre News

Stephen Jeffreys, playwright and author of The Libertine, dies aged 68

The writer had been suffering from a brain turmour

Stephen Jeffreys and Joe Penhall
Stephen Jeffreys and Joe Penhall
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage
Playwright Stephen Jeffreys has died at the age of 68, it has been announced.

Tributes to the playwright, who wrote The Libertine which was revived in the West End in 2016, have been pouring in from writers, actors and the theatre industry.

The Libertine originally opened at the Royal Court in 1994 and was later made into a film starring John Malkovich and Johnny Depp. Jeffreys adapted the play himself into the screenplay.

Dominic Cooper and Stephen Jeffreys
Dominic Cooper and Stephen Jeffreys
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Jeffreys originally worked at the Royal Court and became a literary associate at the theatre in 1992. His other plays included Valued Friends and The Clink, A Going Concern and Backbeat which ran at the Duke of York's Theatre in 2011. He wrote the screenplay for the biopic Diana in 2013, which starred Naomi Watts.

In the Guardian, David Edgar wrote : "He was justly famous for his understanding of playwriting technique which he passed on to emergent dramatists including Simon Stephens, Winsome Pinnock, Tanika Gupta and Roy Williams."

Jeffreys was born in 1950 and died aged 68 in 2018. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

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