Alan Hopgood

Scriptwriter and Actor

hopgoodAlan Hopgood (1934-2022) was well known as a playwright, screenwriter, documentary writer and as an actor. Since 1997 Hopgood's HealthPlay performances brought the worlds of drama and health together, offering a humorous outlook on challenging health issues. The narratives were inspired by true life stories. See www.healthplay.com.au

In March 2000, Alan's play The Carer premiered in Melbourne before two tours of Australia. It was highly praised for its sensitive treatment of Alzheimer's disease and its warmth and humour. After that, Alan wrote several plays addressing health issues, ranging from diabetes to geriatric sex, and was a regular speaker at conferences and seminars.  The Carer was performed in Cantonese in Hong Kong by 105 Drama Society. 

In 1963, his successful plays, And The Big Men FlyThe Golden Legion of Cleaning Women and Private Yuk Objects were presented by the M.T.C. His successful career in film and television included winning Awgie awards for The Cheerful Cuckold and The Bush Bunch and writing feature films, including Alvin Purple and documentaries The Prophecies of Nostradamus and The Fountain of Youth. In the nineties, he had an active collaboration with composer Michael Easton that produced the children’s opera Little Redinka for the Victorian State Opera and Petrov - The Musical for the Summer Music Festival in 1992 as well as the musiographies Oh Mr PorterRodgers and Hart and Callas - The Woman. Later, he collaborated with Michael Harrison on The Mario Lanzer Story

His acting career in live theatre, TV and film, ran parallel with his writing. He spent 10 years working with the M.T.C., six years as the popular “Dr Reed” in Bellbird as well as creating the popular character “Wally” in Prisoner and “Jack Lassiter” in Neighbours. Alan starred in The Emperor of the Ghetto, a one man play by Abraham Cykiert, which dealt with Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, the Jewish Leader of the Ghetto of Lodz and his dilemmas in dealing with the Nazis. It was first performed at the Caulfield Arts Centre in Melbourne in 1993, followed by seasons at the George Fairfax Studio (Victorian Arts Centre), St Martin’s, the Adelaide Fringe (where Alan Hopgood was voted Best Actor) and Tasmania as well as performances in over seventy schools in Victoria and South Australia.

In 1996, Alan's personal story SURVIVING PROSTATE CANCER - ONE MAN’S JOURNEY was published. As a result, he was invited to address many Conferences, Men’s Health Nights, Rotary Groups and Forums. He wrote a heart-warming comedy about men’s health, intimacy and cancer, For Better, For Worse. The play toured regional Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia and starred Alan. The video of the play was screened regularly by the Cancer Council of Victoria in conjunction with Information Nights.

In March 2000, Alan’s play THE CARER, starring Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, premiered at Chapel Off Chapel, Melbourne. This one man play was highly praised for its sensitive treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and its warmth and humour. It is about a husband’s grief for his wife who has recently died after he has cared for her while she deteriorated with Alzheimer’s Disease. ‘Bud’ Tingwell gave 260 performances, touring all Australian States. In 2005, it toured New Zealand with Ray Henwood. In 2006, Alan performed the role in Melbourne at Chapel Off Chapel and also in Cairns.

Alan wrote several other plays on health themes - two plays about diabetes – A Pill, A Pump and a Needle about women with diabetes and Six Degrees of Diabetes about men. Both plays toured in regional areas of Victoria. In October 2006, in Melbourne at Chapel Off Chapel for Seniors Week, he presented two more short plays - Widows or More Than a Dead Man's Wife and Never Too Old.

In January 2005, Alan was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the performing arts as an actor, playwright and producer and to the community through raising awareness of men’s health issues.