Richard Crowe

‘…a wonderful, remarkable writer’ Fay Weldon

Richard Crowe on the Somerset Levels below Glastonbury TorPhotograph by Molly Crowe

Richard Crowe is a displaced Essex boy who started writing for the stage when he was 17. He had a worldwide hit in 1985 with Cock and Bull Story, written with Richard Zajdlic, and described by Variety as ‘violent, touching, vicious, thought-provoking, gut-wrenching, honest and, above all, unafraid’. He went on to write Cannibal, again with Richard Zajdlic, and to work as a creative producer, culminating in five years working on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Having functioned reasonably well through sporadic bouts of depression, Richard experienced a full-on breakdown in 2014 and was, eventually, diagnosed as bipolar. His response to this was to return to writing and the stage, performing in his one-man-show, Over the Wall Picking Apples,’ a brilliantly written and performed show… sets itself apart from others of this ilk by the quality of (its) writing and acting’ Disability Arts Online, 2018

He is currently working on a musical adaptation of that play, Bipolar: The Musical, and a new play, Spitzer’s Owls, about the relationship between a Polish/Jewish artist – a survivor of the concentration camps – an English public school teacher and his young pupil.

Over lockdown, Richard has developed a digital/online practice, producing a season of Theatre Nights (Digital Edition), scratch performances and rehearsed readings; making a documentary about the project to stage first performances of Bipolar: The Musical, aborted due to lockdown; leading a collaboration between six playwrights to chart Somerset’s response to Coronavirus, The Time of Our Lives, and producing a film, In Search of Cinderella, a virtual Pantomime for Somerset. In January, Richard will produce a series of podcasts, The New Normal-where’s that to? featuring theatre makers in conversation with venue managers and arts agencies.


Richard Crowe and Richard Zajdlic in their own play, Cock & Bull Story,
The Lyric, Hammersmith. Photos by Ben Britton