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Playwright / Screenwriter

Michael Ashton

(2012 - 2018)

Born in  1953, Dundee, Scotland, Michael went from college into the British Army where he saw active service across world. Following the end of his army career he returned to University and saw himself through working as a taxi driver, ice cream salesman to middle temple and studied law, qualifying as a barrister specialising in human rights.

To say that he has had a varied life experiences is an understatement.


In 2008 following a conviction for fraud he was sent to prison for 18 months. Whilst in prison he undertook a course in playwriting at the end of which he wrote 'The Archbishop and the Antichrist' (a stage play about Archbishop Desmond Tutu and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission). The play was submitted for an award in 2009 by those running the playwriting course and it won an immediate Koestler Gold Award. It then won Amnesty Internationals Protect the Human prize. The play has been seen at the Royal Festival Hall, the Amnesty Theatre, and the Soho Theatre London.

'The Forgiven' went on to be adapted for the screen by Michael and Roland Joffe ('The Mission' and the 'Killing Fields') and released as a feature film in 2018 with Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana in the lead roles. Managed and developed in collaboration with Kim Ashton.

Michael has consistently won awards for his work, notably the Lost Festival with Mirrors, Koestler with Peter Chamberlen’s Case of Conscience, and a Writers Guild best newcomer with I6 Charlie. In 2011 his stage play 'The Beekeeper' won the Pulse and played to a sell out audience in its run at South Hill Park. It then played to great reviews at Waterloo East in London in 2012 and was nominated for 3 OFFIE’s.

'Bethlehem Lights' play won the Henley Festival Playwriting Award 2016, and being the headline work at the Henley Festival May 2017, became OVERALL FESTIVAL WINNER and won best original script.

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  • The Gates of Sleep

  • The Forgiven

    Screenplay co-written with Roland Joffe
  • The Archbishop and the Antichrist

  • Bethlehem Lights

  • Mirrors

  • The Beekeeper

  • Peter Chamberlen's Case of Conscience

  • I6 Charlie

  • Metal Core


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