Kerry Lee Crabbe (1946-2024)

Playwright, Radio/tv/screenwriter


Kerry Lee Crabbe began his career in the theatre, directing plays by classic dramatists such as Chekhov, Ibsen, O’Casey and Shakespeare. While hunting for contemporary drama to stage he began writing his own plays (including The Burn, Someone Is Squeaking, The Last Romantic and Rough Magic). He later crossed into TV where as well as creating several individual dramas he was for several years responsible for finding new projects for the BBC. After working as a guest tutor at the National Film and Television School he was commissioned to write a string of original and adapted screenplays (including Memoirs of a Survivor, Innocent Lies, Trick of the Lightand The Playboys).

Throughout, his aim was to avoid the fashion for formulaic, protagonist-led narratives, and instead to create group or ensemble pieces. Similarly, he eschewed prosaic or journalistic treatment of themes and gave priority to the use of language, both verbal and visual. Latterly he returned to theatre (The Dwarfs, The Club, An Erotic Education), wrote several short stories for radio, and addressed the novel as a form.

As well as his work for the RLF, Kerry taught creative writing at the Open University, Kingston and Roehampton universities, at the London Film School and London Film Academy, and across France, Portugal, Africa and Asia, for the Arvon Foundation, the British Council, the Ford Foundation and Unesco. He was an honorary professor at Fidel Castro and Gabriel Marquez’s Latin-American film school in Cuba.


Kerry Lee Crabbe

Playwright, Radio/tv/screenwriter


  • Queen Mary, University of London, 2008–2010