Nick Enright (1950–2003) was a playwright, actor, director, screenwriter, lyricist, translator/adaptor, dramaturg and teacher and was one of Australia’s most prolific writers. He grew up in Maitland, NSW and was educated at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview and Sydney University. He began working professionally in the theatre for J. C. Williamson at 16. He also worked at the Nimrod Theatre and the Melbourne Theatre Company, and later trained at the New York University School of Arts where he studied playwriting with Israel Horovitz.
His plays include On the Wallaby, Daylight Saving, St James Infirmary, Mongrels, A Property of the Clan, The Quartet from Rigoletto, Blackrock, Good Works, Playgrounds, Spurboard, Chasing the Dragon and A Poor Student. With Justin Monho he adapted Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet which played in all Australian capitals as well as London, Zurich, Dublin, Washington and New York. His last professional play was A Man with Five Children.
For film Nick wrote Lorenzo’s Oil with George Miller (for which they were nominated for Academy and WGA Awards for Best Original Screenplay), and Blackrock; and for television Coral Island and the miniseries Come in Spinner both of which were nominated for AFI Awards. Many of his plays have been broadcast and he has also written original work for radio.
With composer Terence Clarke, he wrote the musicals The Venetian Twins and Summer Rain. Other musical collaborations include Miracle City with Max Lambert, Mary Bryant and The Good Fight with David King and the book for the Australian production of The Boy From Oz.
Good Works and Cloudstreet won Melbourne Green Room Awards for Best Play. Daylight Saving, A Property of the Clan, Blackrock (screenplay) and Cloudstreet have all won Writers’ Guild Gold AWGIE Awards. Nick was honoured to receive the 1998 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award and was posthumously awarded the 2003 Variety Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award and the Special Award at the 2003 Premier’s Literary Awards.