Plays

Walt wrote plays in a wide variety of genres, including stage plays, television and radio dramas, film scripts, pantomimes, sketches and murder mysteries. Much of his later work was co-written with his friend Yvette Huddleston. Details and links to some extracts are shared below.

 

Stage Plays

His final play, an adaptation of ‘Wuthering Heights’  was written and directed with Yvette and performed at both the Ilkley Playhouse and the Minack Theatre in Cornwall in Summer 2013. Unusually it includes the second half of the novel (usually ignored in adaptations). An extract between Cathy and Nelly Dean is here and is followed here by a scene with the second young Cathy, Linton and Heathcliffe. The photo gallery below includes photos from a performance at the Vijay International School, Seychelles.

 

- Sweeney Todd (with music by Chris Armitage); the first two scenes are here and a further extract with the lyrics of one of the songs is here

- Half Hour Hamlet
- Wandering by Walthamstow (with music by David de Warrenne); the first scene is here
- MacHam (this comedy fuses together scenes from Hamlet and Macbeth, two of the most famous tragedies in the English language, to be delivered at breakneck speed); some extracts are here 

Screenplays

A screenplay about Charlotte Bronte, originally called 'The Shadow of Love' and now renamed simply 'Charlotte', was commissioned in 2003 by Allen Jewhurst of Chameleon Television. It is still being worked on with the assistance of Ray Grewal, Jessica Hill and Yvette Huddleston. A short extract of Charlotte with Elizabeth Gaskell is here and a further extract of Charlotte with William Thackeray is here. The final two extracts are both with Mr Nicholls, here with the marriage proposal and here with Charlotte's conditions.

 

'First Casualty': a screenplay about the bombing of Dresden. In 1984 a letter to the Observer about

the bombing of Dresden, which took place towards the end of the Second World War, prompted Walt to find out more and he began work on a television screenplay. His research included a huge amount of reading on the subject and he also interviewed men who had been navigators in Lancaster bombers in1944/45. Four extracts from the screenplay are here.

 

Radio Plays
- Heathcliff’s Daughter (with Yvette Huddleston); this was written a radio play in 2008. It grew out of an idea that Walt had about ‘the missing years’ of Heathcliff’s life – in Wuthering Heights he disappears for three years and returns educated and wealthy. Emily Brontë doesn’t ever reveal what Heathcliff did in that time, although she provides some tantalising clues. Three extracts are here

Pantomimes
- Little Red Robinson Hood (with Graham Tomsett); some short extracts and a song are here, with a further song, Little John's Lament here
- Hayward / Harry the Highwayman (with Graham Tomsett)

- Jack and the Beanstalk (with Yvette Huddleston and music arranged by Chris Armitage); an extract is here

- Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind (with Yvette Huddleston); an extract can be found here

 

Murder Mysteries

- The Real Inspector Hound (with Yvette Huddleston) - a cunning combination of J B Priestley’s

An Inspector Calls and The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard, one of Walt’s favourite playwrights; an extract is here

- Murder on’t Moor (with Yvette Huddleston)

- Blue Murder at St Trivians (with Yvette Huddleston)

Anyone interested in obtaining the full scripts for performance should contact the Walter Swan Trust.

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