Nick Enright, Oscar-nominated scribe and one of Australia’s most acclaimed dramatists, died March 30 in Sydney after a twelve-month battle with cancer. He was 52.
Enright received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for “Lorenzo’s Oil,” co-penned with George Miller.
During a 36-year career in showbiz he worked with all of Australia’s leading theater companies and taught at esteemed institutions the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP). He was one of the country’s most influential drama teachers, training many of the country’s top thesps.
Highlights from his theatre career include tuner “The Boy From Oz” about the life of entertainer Peter Allen, for Ben Gannon and Robert Fox. “Boy” was a hit Down Under from 1998 and is being re-worked for Broadway, with Hugh Jackman to star. His play “Blackrock,” about the death of a teenage girl in a New South Wales industrial city, toured Australia from 1995, collected the Writer’s Guild Award for best play and was short listed for the Premier’s Literary Awards in both Victoria and New South Wales. His screen adaptation released in 1997.
Enright’s epic adaptation of Tim Winton’s blockbuster novel “Cloudstreet,” written with Justin Monjo, was produced by Company B Belvoir and Perth’s Black Swan Theatre Company in 1998. It collected awards in Australia and abroad, was re-mounted in Sydney in 2001 and toured Washington, London and New York.
Other stage works include “The Venetian Twins,” “Summer Rain,” “Daylight Saving,” “Good Works” and “A Man with Five Children,” staged in 2002 by the Sydney Theater Company.
Other film and television credits are “Come in Spinner,” “Breaking Through,” “Coral Island” and “Bennelong” currently in development with helmer/producer Bill Bennett.
Most recently Enright had become increasingly immersed in his work with drama schools. After a weeklong workshop in Alice Springs with the ATYP, he said, “You learn more from them, their life experiences and their view of the world. They bring passion and joy that is often lacking in young professionals.”
He is survived by his mother, three brothers, a sister and numerous godchildren.
— Michaela Boland