Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid to The Libertine playwright Stephen Jeffreys after death at 68

He was remembered as a beloved writer and teacher.

Stephen Jeffreys, right, with Dominic Cooper (Dan Wooller/REX/Shutterstock)
Stephen Jeffreys, right, with Dominic Cooper (Dan Wooller/REX/Shutterstock)

Tributes have been paid to British playwright Stephen Jeffreys after his death at the age of 68.

His agent Mel Kenyon told the Press Association The Libertine writer died last night, adding: “He was a consummate playwright and a gorgeous, funny, kind and emotionally generous man who will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Stephen Jeffreys wrote the fil Diana (Casarotto Ramsay and Associates/PA)

Jeffreys was best known for his play based on the life of the rebellious Earl of Rochester, which ran at the Royal Court in London from 1994 to 1995 and was made into a film in 2004, starring Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton and John Malkovich.

It was revived at Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2016, starring Dominic Cooper and Ophelia Lovibond.

Enron playwright Lucy Prebble wrote on Twitter: “Rest in peace, Stephen Jeffreys. You were a true writer and teacher and lie between the lines in many hundreds of writers’ plays.”

David Grieg added: “Very sad to hear of the death of Stephen Jeffreys; a questing, funny, dazzling playwright perhaps best known for The Libertine.

“Many of us also knew him as a hugely generous teacher. I still use the structure work he taught me in 1993. He shaped a generation of UK playwrights.”

Sarah Phelps, who has adapted Witness For The Prosecution and And Then There Were None for the BBC, wrote: “My 1st job as a dresser was at @royalcourt working on Stephen Jeffreys’ The Libertine.

“A brilliant, scabrous, heart-broken play by this kind, funny man who took me for lunch & talked to me about writing & encouraged me. People don’t do that with dressers. Stephen did.”

She added: “Oh and The Libertine, that play. When the wings are crowded with crew watching scenes when they don’t need to be there, you know your play is a belter. ‘I see angels dancing on a pinhead. Do you like me now?’

“Thanks for that lunch, thanks for those words, Stephen. Rest in Peace.”

Jeffreys also penned the film Diana, starring Naomi Watts as the Princess of Wales, as well as plays including I Just Stopped By To See The Man, Backbeat, A Going Concern, A Jovial Crew and Valued Friends.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph