25 February 1940 - 8 March 2019
Born in Caithness in 1940, Donald Campbell grew up in Edinburgh. A full-time writer since 1974, he was active as a playwright, theatre historian, stage director, script writer and poet. He was an Honorary Fellow of the Association of Scottish Literary Studies and a Life Member of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain.
Among more than a score of stage-plays, the most successful were The Jesuit (1976), The Widows of Clyth (1979), Blackfriars Wynd (1980), Till All the Seas Run Dry (1981), Howard's Revenge (1985), Victorian Values (1986), The Fisher Boy and the Honest Lass (1990), The Ould Fella (1993), Nancy Sleekit (1994) and Glorious Hearts (1999).
Campbell made his directorial debut with a production of John McGrath's Plugged into History during the Edinburgh Festival of 1986. Since then, his productions have included a revival of his own Blackfriars Wynd, two adaptations of Scott novels, The Heart of Midlothian (Edinburgh Old Town Festival, 1988) and St. Ronan's Well (Border Festival, 1989) a touring revival of Tom Wright's There Was a Man (Capstride Theatre, 1994) and the first English language version of Malin Lagerlof's The Lighthouse Prisoner (Northlands Festival, 1996).
As a poet, Campbell had published a substantial body of work, six full collections being represented in his Selected Poems: 1970-1990 (Galliard, 1990). Other work included six television plays, some fifty radio programmes, three short films and two volumes of theatre history; A Brighter Sunshine (polygon, 1983) and Playing for Scotland (Mercat Press, 1996) together with his cultural history of Edinburgh, published in the Cities of the Imagination series from Signal Books of Oxford (20001).
Formerly Writer-in-Residence to Lothian Schools (1974-77), Resident Playwright at the Royal Lyceum Theatre (1981-83), Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Dundee (l987-89), William Soutar Fellow in Perth (1991-93) and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Napier University (2000-01), Donald Campbell's stage drama won three Scotsman Fringe Firsts for productions during the Edinburgh International Festival and his radio work was recognized by international awards on three continents; A Clydebuilt Man (New York, 1983), The Miller's Reel (Sydney, 1987) and The Year of The Bonnie Prince (Monte Carlo, 1996).