Comedy has always been in Barbara Jane Mackie’s make up. 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 at The Tramshed 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. Showing Anthony her second original screenplay, her Western ‘Cowboy Girls’ was a proud day for Barbara Jane Mackie.
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. 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 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!’
AN INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA JANE MACKIE
From 2018 and published on the acclaimed Mighty Dragon Blog, An Interview with Barbara Jane Mackie.
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 hugely enjoyed Barbara’s screenplay, ‘Cowboy Girls’.
Barbara 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 the single drama ‘Seed’ 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 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.