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James Forsyth

JAMES FORSYTH

  (1913 - 2005)

Nationality:    Scottish
email:    n/a     Website:    n/a

Literary Agent:    Claire Evans Associates  

James Law Forsyth, born March 5, 1913 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK; died: February 2005 (age 91) in Ansty, England, UK. After distinguished war service, he became dramatist on the staff of the Old Vic in London 1946-8.
From memory, he was married twice, his first wife was Louise, who died - I forget the name of his 2nd wife. He had no children as far as I know. When I knew him, he lived in Sussex, in Ansty(e?) (near Cuckfield, I think). On the property was a disused barn which he converted to a Theatre, and put on his plays with the villagers - not sure if he brought in professionals to take the lead roles. the Theatre was uncomfortable, just cushions on the steps of the tiered audience area, and impossible to heat in winter, so one went well-prepared with blankets. I remember seeing one of his plays when I was a teenager in the 1970's and must confess I found it an ordeal - a very long historical play without much action. the 'Three Plays' published in April 1956 were 'the Other Heart', 'Heloise' and 'Adelaise'. His preface is signed 'Anstye, Sussex, April 1956. J.F.' Published by William Heinemann, London. Introduction by Tyrone Guthrie, which I can also scan to you, if my scanner behaves itself, but it has little further biographical info. the plays were first performed in a radio version on the Third Programme (now Radio 3?) of the BBC in August 1951. the final 2 pages of this book give the cast - I am no expert on the history of British Theatre, but names that ring a bell are Cyril Cusack, Hattie Jacques (of 'Carry On' fame?) and Claire Bloom. I can scan these 2 pages to you also if required - there may be other names you know. An earlier Nativity play of his, Emmanuel, was published in 1952, also by Heinemann. James Forsyth was also an accomplished artist, and I have 2 of his etchings, one of his Barn Theatre dated 1977, the other a winter scene dated 1979. I found a further copy of the Barn Theatre etching for sale on ebay a couple of years ago. I do not know when he died - I lost touch with him and his 2nd wife when I left university to work in South Africa in 1976, but he kept in touch with my aunt, who then lived in Surrey. My aunt passed away in 1985, and I don't remember her ever telling me that James had died, so I guess he was still alive then.
with thanks to Jonathan Makins

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below is a list of James Forsyth's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        Adelaise         Brand         Christmas At Greccio         Cyrano De Bergerac         Dear Wormwood         Defiant Island         Emmanuel         Everyman         Fifteen Strings Of Money         Four Triumphant         Heloise         If My Wings Heal         Joshua         Lobsterback         Medicine Man         N For Napoleone         No Crown For Herod         Other Heart, The         Pier, The         Play Of Alban, The         Road To Emmaus, The         Seven Scenes For Yeni         Time Of Harvest         Trog         Wenceslas         What the Dickens         When Snow Lay Around



Adelaise

Adelaise
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
the Studio Theatre, Ashburton, Devon    Sep 1953

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Three Plays" Heinemann, London, 1956   B0000CJNYW

Music:
-

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Genre:
Historical Drama

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Brand

Brand
-

Notes:
Original Playwright - Henrik Ibsen

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Heinemann 1960   B000NJ4IQa

Music:
-

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Genre:
Translation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Christmas At Greccio

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
aka No Crown for Herod

1st Produced:
Ansty, Sussex    1976

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatic Publishing Company, Chicago, 1977   -

Music:
-

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-

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Further Reference:
-

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Cyrano De Bergerac

Synopsis:
the swordsman poet with the large nose

Notes:
Original Playwright - edmond Rostand

1st Produced:
Sarasota, Florida    1963

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatic Publishing Company, Chicago, 1968   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  28            Female:  7            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dear Wormwood

Synopsis:
a young devil is coached by more experienced one in art of corrupting a young man.

Notes:
book by C.S. Lewis, Aka Screwtape

1st Produced:
Brighton    1965

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatic Publishing Company, Chicago, 1961   B009NNU3FM

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Defiant Island

Synopsis:
the life of Henry Christophe of Haiti

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Washington D.C.    1962

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatic Publishing Company, Chicago, 1975   B0000EE3HD

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
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Further Reference:
-

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Emmanuel

Emmanuel
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
William Heinemann Ltd, 1951   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

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Further Reference:
-

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Everyman

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Coventry    1962

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
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Further Reference:
-

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Fifteen Strings Of Money

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
Original Playwright - Guenther Weisenhorn

1st Produced:
Pitlochry, Perthshire    1961

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Four Triumphant

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
televised As Festival of Four 1966

1st Produced:
Ansty, Sussex    1976

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Heloise

Heloise
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
King's Theatre, Southsea    22 Oct 1951

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Three Plays" Heinemann, London, 1956   B0000CJNYW

Music:
-

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Genre:
Historical Drama

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - the London Stage 51.278

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If My Wings Heal

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Stroud, Gloucestershire    1966

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
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Further Reference:
-

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Joshua

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
music Franz Waxman

1st Produced:
Dallas    1960

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Ricordi, New York, 1959   -

Music:
-

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-

Parts:
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Further Reference:
-

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Lobsterback

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Boston    1975

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Medicine Man

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Embassy Theatre, London    14 Feb 1950

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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N For Napoleone

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Ansty, Sussex    1978

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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No Crown For Herod

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Dramatic Publishing Company, Chicago, 1977   B0006XKWM2

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
one act Christmas play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Other Heart, The

Other Heart, The
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Old Vic, London    15 Apr 1952

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Three Plays" Heinemann, London, 1956   B0000CJNYW

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
3 act play

Parts:
Male:  15            Female:  3            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
Wearing - the London Stage 52.77

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Pier, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
televised 1957

1st Produced:
Bristol    1958

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Play Of Alban, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
St. albans    1977

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Road To Emmaus, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    -

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Heinemann, London, 1958   B000X9Q4US

Music:
-

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Genre:
easter Play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Seven Scenes For Yeni

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Boston    1963

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Time Of Harvest

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
broadcast As the Threshing Floor 1982

1st Produced:
Ansty, Sussex    1981

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Trog

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1949

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Wenceslas

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
broadcast As When the Snow Lay Round About 1978

1st Produced:
Ansty, Sussex    1980

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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What the Dickens

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
novel by Dickens

1st Produced:
Ansty, Sussex    1974

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Booksellers:

Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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When Snow Lay Around

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    1978

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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