ALISTAIR BEATON's work spans theatre, television, radio and publishing. He was born in Glasgow and educated at the Universities of Edinburgh, Moscow and Bochum, graduating from Edinburgh University with First Class Honours in Russian and German. He is regarded as one of Britain’s top political satirists.
His satirical comedy KING OF HEARTS was seen at London’s Hampstead Theatre in 2007, directed by Max Stafford-Clark and Ramin Gray. He is the author of the hit West End play FEELGOOD, which won the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award in 2001 and has since had successful runs in America, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Estonia, Finland and Hungary. In 2004 he wrote the anti-war satire FOLLOW MY LEADER (Birmingham Rep & Hampstead Theatre). With Ned Sherrin he co-wrote THE RATEPAYERS’ IOLANTHE and THE METROPOLITAN MIKADO, as well as the musical SMALL EXPECTATIONS.
Alistair wrote the award-winning television film A VERY SOCIAL SECRETARY about the David Blunkett affair, launching More4 in 2005. This was followed in 2007 by the Channel 4 film THE TRIAL OF TONY BLAIR, winner of the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for Best Single Drama and nominated for a BAFTA.
He is author of the satirical novel A PLANET FOR THE PRESIDENT (Orion Books 2005) and a number of best-selling humour books, including THE LITTLE BOOK OF COMPLETE BOLLOCKS, THE LITTLE BOOK OF NEW LABOUR BOLLOCKS and THE LITTLE BOOK OF MANAGEMENT BOLLOCKS. He is co-author of DROP THE DEAD DONKEY 2000.
He was one of the founding members of NOT THE NINE O’CLOCK NEWS and regularly wote song lyrics for SPITTING IMAGE. With Barry Pilton he co-wrote the ITV sitcom DOWNWARDLY MOBILE. He speaks fluent German, Russian and French and in 2005 he translated and adapted THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR (Chichester Festival Theatre) from the Russian. He has also written new English versions of DIE FLEDERMAUS and LA VIE PARISIENNE.
In 2007 his translation of THE ARSONISTS by Max Frisch was staged at the Royal Court Theatre. In Spring 2008 his version of THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR ran at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.
He is a well-known voice on BBC Radio 4, having presented several series of FOURTH COLUMN as well as a number of other programmes including THE BEATON GENERATION. He appears on programmes as diverse as ANY QUESTIONS, THE NEWS QUIZ, PM, QUOTE UNQUOTE and THE TODAY PROGRAMME.
Alistair Beaton has worked as consultant with Columbia Tristar, developing new television comedies for the European market. He has also been adviser to WDR television in Cologne, and has run writing workshops in Britain and Germany. He co-wrote the screenplay MIT FÜNFZIG KÜSSEN MÄNNER ANDERS, directed by Margarethe von Trotta.
Alistair's play, CALEDONIA, a story of greed, euphoria and mass delusion, was co-production between the Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre of Scotland and was staged at the Kings Theatre Edinburgh in 2010. It tells the tale of a small, poor country mistaking itself for a big rich country...
FRACKED! OR: PLEASE DON'T USE THE
F-WORD, a new razor-sharp black comedy by Alistair Beaton takes a timely look at the conflicted core of planetary energy and earthly power. The play opened at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester in August 2016 and toured the UK in 2017.
The German version of FRACKED! OR: PLEASE DON’T USE THE F-WORD, ABGEFRACKT! is currently running at the Staatstheater Nürnberg, Germany to great reviews. And in March 2018, ABGEFRACKT! opens in a new production in Stuttgart.