// The Wayfarer Fellowship 2017, St John's College, Durham
Richard Everett was a Visiting Fellow of St John’s College, Durham University in the Michaelmas Term 2017. The brainchild of the Revd Dr David Wilkinson, Principal of St John’s, this partnership arises from friendship and discussions over several years imagining how Wayfarer and St John’s could connect both creatively and spiritually.
Wayfarer fellows choose an area of research or a project which explores the relationship of spirituality to arts, media and culture. Each fellow will then spend a week with students from St John’s College in a residential group at Freswick Castle the following summer.
Richard Everett was educated at Mill Hill School and began his career as a professional actor in 1970 appearing on TV, London’s West End stage, and New York’s Broadway. He also appeared in many films including the 70’s cult classic Lindsay Anderson’s “If …” starring Malcolm McDowell, Cry of The Banshee starring Vincent Price, and Hamlet directed by Tony Richardson, starring Anthony Hopkins, Marianne Faithful and Nicol Williamson.
In the late 70’s he formed his own fringe theatre company, and with a group of fellow actors converted an empty church hall into the highly successful Upstream Theatre near London’s South Bank and The Old Vic. He was Artistic Director there for 3 years.
In the 80’s Richard turned to writing. He is the author of 8 produced stage plays including Happy Event, Close To The Wind, Hand Over Fist and Present From The Past which have been published, translated into several languages, and are regularly performed in the UK and abroad. His play Demons had its world premiere recently in Heidelberg and Entertaining Angels, starring Penelope Keith, opened the Chichester Festival Theatre Season in 2006 playing to a record breaking 26,000 people in 4 weeks. The play subsequently toured the UK and is now performed by amateurs and professionals all over the world including most recently, New Zealand, South Africa and Israel. It is published by Oberon Books.
Richard has also written extensively for animation with over 200 scripts to his credit. Among them are the BAFTA nominated Joseph for the Testament series, Dig, Dug and Daisy a series he created for Dorling Kindersley, Nellie The Elephant, The Mr Men Christmas Special, Timbuctoo and Busy Buses. He also wrote the screenplay for the animation feature Under The Black Flag which premiered in Berlin.
In 2002 his first feature film Two Men Went To War, directed by John Henderson and starring Kenneth Cranham, Derek Jacobi, Leo Bill, James Fleet, Julian Glover, and Phyllida Law, went on UK general release. He developed the project over nine years with actor Chris Villiers and was Associate Producer as well as screenwriter. The movie was in the official selection for the Hollywood Film Festival and was released in New York and across the USA. It is regularly screened as a BBC feature movie.
In 2014 Sound Bites, Richard’s first book of collected short works was published. An anthology of mini plays, monologues and meditations for seasonal events, it received the Jerusalem Trust Award at BAFTA for the series Sound Bites in Advent broadcast by the BBC. It is published by Monarch Books (Lion Hudson), available on Amazon and proving immensely popular with schools, church and youth groups in the UK and the USA. The scripts are currently in development as a collection of short films.
He has also written three plays for BBC Radio 4 – A Little Behind On The Video, Something To Say, and Grace And Favour.
For 5 years Richard ran a weekly drama workshop for special needs adults at the L’Arche Community. Together they won two awards for their short films at the film festival in Poznan, Poland. He has been a popular speaker at numerous conferences and events performing extracts from Sound Bites and speaking on The Writer’s Journey, exploring the relationship between work, faith and creativity.
A further interview with Richard from the Church Times can be read: here
Wayfarer Fellow 2018: Leah Samuelson