'Barbara's writing is bold, original and enormous fun. In her screenplay 'Cowboy Girls' she cleverly puts the female at the very epi-centre of the traditionally male genre of the Western.'

Anthony Minghella, Oscar winning
Screenwriter/Producer and Director
.


About

Barbara Jane Mackie

Rik Mayall and Ade EdmondsonComedy has always been in Barbara Jane Mackie’s make up and she got her early breaks in the Theatre forming a Comedy Fringe group with fellow Drama students, Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall from the BBC’S ‘Young Ones’ fame.  These were two of the people who founded ‘Alternative Comedy.’  Barbara Jane Mackie became their Theatre Manager, basing themselves at The Treamshed Theatre in Woolwich, London.

Barbara Jane Mackie studied Drama at Hull University with Anthony Minghella, one our finest Screenwriters, and when she moved to the Isle of Wight, Barbara reconnected with her Screenplay mentor.  It was a proud day for Barbara Jane Mackie to show Anthony her second original screenplay, her Western  ‘Cowboy Girls’.  Anthony liked it and developed Barbara’s screenplay through his own film company, Mirage Enterprises.

Philip Mackie and his wifeBarbara Jane Mackie’s late father, Philip Mackie, the celebrated TV Dramatist (‘The Naked Civil Servant’ and many Bafta-award winning TV dramas), had given Barbara and her three sisters a creative, adventure-filled childhood in Cirencester in the Cotswolds.  Barbara says:  ‘I was a ‘tom boy-girl’ and spent my early years running free in country fields, building tree houses, making dens and importantly – writing stories!  My father was amazingly generous and with my mother, Cynthia Mackie, a beautiful soul, they hosted legendary parties and concerts, surrounding us with actors, musicians and painters.  With this kind of background, my imagination was really set free!’  

Barbara Jane MacKie & her childrenAfter Barbara Jane Mackie’s  stint running the Tramshed Theatre in London, she moved into the heady world of TV Commercials.  Selling Soap and Shampoo left Barbara uninspired so she moved into Documentaries, getting her early breaks with Channel 4, producing and directing TV programmes about social issues.  Barbara moved back into Drama, reading scripts for BBC Drama and the European Script fund.  Barbara then moved up to BBC Pebble Mill, commissioning and editing ‘This Life’, ‘Dangerfield’, the two part film ‘Bad Company’ and the crime drama ‘Dalziel & Pascoe’, and producing the film ‘Seed.’  All for the BBC.

Barbara Jane Mackie says: ‘I connected to some wonderfully creative producers and directors at the BBC and I also received a great training there.  I still adore the BBC and revere it more highly than I do the Royal Family!’

Izzy & Max Mackie, Barbara's children.Becoming a freelance writer, after having her two children, Maximilian and Izabella, Barbara Jane Mackie moved with her husband, Documentary film-maker, Anthony Steyger, down to Brighton and then – ‘our very  late gap year!’ – to the Charente in South West France.  There she drew inspiration for her first novel, the romantic comedy ‘Eat the View.’

Moving back to the UK, Barbara Jane Mackie settled in Ryde a seaside town on the Isle of Wight.  Anthony became happily installed as Head of TV at Southampton Solent University, and Maximilian and Izabella got stuck into the local high school.  Barbara Jane Mackie says: ‘I was happy to give my own children – just as my parents had given me – the freedom to roam free in the country and enjoy the beaches, right here on this beautiful island!’

Barbara Jane MacKie on the beach at RydeBarbara Jane Mackie says:  ‘The Island inspires me every day with its stunning, ever-changing landscapes and big skies, and it is full of creative and wonderfully eccentric people, who fill my notebooks. I always say to any writer: write what you know and start from where you are. ‘Organic writing’, I call it!’

Barbara Jane Mackie loves living in Ryde with its vast, sandy beach, and is writing here happily and running her writing workshops, The Write Stuff.  ‘I adore this crazy island and am setting my next novel,  ‘Wobble’, the follow-up to ‘Eat the View’, right here on my local beach!’

 

THE HARD FACTS ABOUT BARBARA JANE MACKIE

Barbara Jane Mackie is a BBC trained Screenwriter and Novelist with a Masters in Creative Writing.  The late Anthony Minghella who developed Barbara’s screenplay, ‘Cowboy Girls’, called it bold, original and enormous fun.’

Anthony Mighella with his oscarBarbara Jane Mackie has just completed her Novel ‘EAT THE VIEW’ a romantic comedy set in the British ‘Ex-Pat’ community in rural France.  Craig Batty, Senior Lecturer in Creative & Professional Writing at RMT University, Melbourne says: Full of comical action, literary wit, great characters and emotional poignancy,Eat the View’ keeps you hooked from the word go!’  Barbara Jane Mackie is writing ‘Wobble’, a rom-com set on the Isle of Wight featuring Alpha O’ Mara, the follow up to ‘Eat the View.’

Devising the BBC Drama Police series ‘Dangerfield’  and ‘Dalziel & Pascoe’, Barbara Jane Mackie produced ‘Seed’,  a Single Drama for the BBC.  Barbara commissioned the award-winning film ‘Bad Company’  for the BBC and wrote ‘Mimi’,  her first screenplay, financed by MEDIA II, bringing her to the attention of Working Title Films. Barbara has also written the short film, ‘Sea Change’.

Barbara Jane Mackie & husband Anthony SteygerBarbara Jane Mackie began running the Tramshed Theatre, Woolwich, after forming a Comedy Fringe group with Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson of ‘The Young Ones’ .  Moving onto work in TV, Barbara produced the documentaries ‘Gold’, ‘No Faith in Us’ and ‘The Paralympics’ for Channel 4 and directed for ‘The Right to Reply.’   Barbara Jane Mackie was a Pop Promo Director moving onto direct the documentary ‘An Evening Without John McCarthy’ for the BBC, a film about her missing Beirut hostage friend.

Barbara has lectured in Screenwriting at Portsmouth and Southampton (Solent) Universities and runs The Write Stuff  Writing Workshops on the Isle of Wight.  ‘Inspiring!’  ‘Brilliantly facilitated by Barbara!’  ‘A Fantastic creative experience!’ were just some of the testimonials from attending Writers. For further information on the courses see this page.