Yesterday I sat next to the ingenious British screenwriter Stephen Jeffreys inside the legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott’s during the filming of Diana – a film portraying the last two years of Princess Diana’s life. Thankfully, one of the film crew members placed me at the same table as Jeffreys.
I originally assumed they simply placed me next to another supporting artist until Jeffreys’ words reached my ears. Little did I know that I was communicating with the writer of the film! His presence radiated unpretentiousness, friendliness and good will. He kindly answered all of my questions about the film and Princess Diana, although I wish there had been more time to speak to him.
One of Jeffreys’ areas of expertise consists of writing award winning plays, generally epoch dramas whose names are already popular to the public. The Weinstein Company released his renowned 2004 screenplay The Libertine, which featured heavyweight actors Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, and Samantha Morton. The film received positive reviews, and now Jeffreys’ second film Diana hits screens in 2013.
In addition to writing screenplays, Jeffreys expanded his CV with two extra specialties. He pursued the role as costume designer for Lost Land, a play set after the First World War. He also wrote the words to the song Rochester’s Farewell for The Libertine soundtrack.
Furthermore, Jeffreys enjoys sharing his craft and wisdom to those willing to learn. In fact, the UK’s Channel 4 broadcasted a 2006 documentary about Jeffreys’ successful playwriting workshop showcasing his desire to teach the public.
Before long, a playwriting book written by Jeffreys himself will grace bookshelves across the world as the demand to learn his technique and artistry grows. You can purchase Jeffreys’ plays on his publisher’s website: Nick Hern Books
“The best writing is a combination of the intuitive and the ordered. Ideally, writing a play is like jazz: you improvise, but you know the chord changes.”