About John Kane

About John Kane

John Kane was born in Scotland in 1945 and educated at Arbroath High School. Before completing the acting course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama he was to join the famous production Actors’ Studio at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford. At the end of his first year he was, at twenty, the youngest actor ever to be made an Associate Member of the RSC. He stayed with them for seven years, finally playing Puck in Peter Brook's world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

While at Stratford he had begun to write and in 1972 after the American actress Shelley Winters starred in The Vamp, his first television play for London Weekend Television, he left the Royal Shakespeare Company to write television series for BBC television. For the next twenty years he wrote over two hundred television shows for various programs and series while continuing to act on stage and TV, returning to the RSC for three more seasons.

In 1988, television producer Britt Allcroft paired him with American composer Larry Grossman to write the lyrics for Mumfie, an animation series for which he had already written the book. The lyrics were so successful that he now has four regular collaborators in the music field. His children's opera Flying High (music by Graham Preskett) premiered at Covent Garden Opera House in London in December 2006, and his family opera Kids Court (music by David Bass) had its premiere in 2007 by the North Cambridge Family Opera.

His stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz was first performed by the RSC and is now seen regularly in American productions. Both this and his version of Showboat (also for the RSC) received Olivier Award nominations as did Swell Party, the life story of Cole Porter as reflected in his music. His screenplay for Daisies in December starring Jean Simmons and Joss Ackland won the 1996 Cable Ace award in Los Angeles for best screenplay. He was also invited to co-devise Moving On, a tribute to Stephen Sondheim on his 70th birthday which played with great success at the Bridewell Theatre, the London home of new musical theatre.

More recently he has toured America with the ACTER organization, visiting and performing in colleges and universities from coast to coast. In 1991 and 1992 he was invited to be the Director of Theatre Studies at Lafayette College in Easton. He continues his teaching as the Drama Tutor for the Oxford Overseas Study Course. He recently completed his fifteenth season with the Royal Shakespeare Company playing Exeter, Clifford and Ely in the highly successful series of history plays directed by Michael Boyd which played Ann Arbor to much acclaim in 2006.

John is now mostly retired and lives in the south of France with his wife, Alison.
[click here to see John’s complete CV]
[click here to see John’s Wikipedia entry]
[click here to see John’s Internet Movie Database (IMDB) entry]