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Ric Edelman (playwright)

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Ric Edelman
BornRichard Edmunds
(1948-04-24) April 24, 1948 (age 73)
Blackheath, London
Alma materKings College London
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
SpouseNigel Hughes

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Ric Edelman, born Richard Edmunds, (born 24 April 1948) is a British playwright, screenwriter, and environmentalist. He co-founded Green Light Trust with his husband Nigel Hughes.[citation needed]

Early life and education[edit]

Edelman was born in Blackheath, London. His birth name was Richard Edmunds. In 2005, on discovering his Jewish roots, he adopted his family's original name of Edelman. His father's side of the family came from Vilnius, Lithuania.

He studied biological sciences at Kings College London, graduating with a BSc Hons in 1970. He then went on to study drama at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating in 1973.[1]


From 1973 to 1976 Edelman worked as a professional actor.[2] During this time, he had also begun to write professionally, creating the play The Ghost of Plas Tegg House for a touring arm of Theatr Clwyd.

From 1978 to 1982 he was mentored by John Russell Brown, literary manager at the National Theatre. This included a National Theatre reading of Your Sorrow Shows (1978), directed by Nicholas Kent. In 1979, Edelman, sponsored by the National Theatre, was chosen for a 2-week Gulbenkian Writers’ Workshop. Edelman's play with songs, The Electronic Lover, was adapted for BBC Radio 4 (1984), and directed by David Spencer.[3] Three fringe productions followed: Rissoles (1989)[4] and Warriors in the Wasteland (1990)[5] at the New End Theatre, Hampstead and Annabel's Requiem (1996) at the Tower Theatre.

In 1989, Edelman and his partner Nigel Hughes, made an expedition to Papua New Guinea. This led them to co-write the book Trees of Paradise (Green Press 1991)[6] and to Edelman writing a 90-minute radio play Race of the Dugout Canoes (1995) broadcast on BBC Radio 4, directed by Andy Jordan.[7]

Social and environmental activism[edit]

Between 1981 and 1986, Edelman worked with young homeless people in central London: for the Short Stay Young Homeless Project, Alone in London Service, and Centrepoint.

In 1990, Edelman and Hughes co-founded the charity Green Light Trust [8] in response to the deforestation they witnessed during their early expeditions to Papua New Guinea (1989-1993). Green Light Trust’s aim was to alert the indigenous population to what was happening in their forests and to their choices for the future, setting up self-sustaining projects to protect traditional ways of life and allow the indigenous population to remain independent of international corporations and large scale forestry.[8] Edelman and Hughes produced a series of environmental dramas with the Papua New Guinean Raun Isi theatre troop, which they toured to rainforest communities in the Hunstein Range, Upper Sepik by dugout canoe 1990-1993.[9] As part of their efforts to improve environmental education in Great Britain, Edelman and Hughes developed a series of drama workshops which were taken into schools in 11 counties throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Edelman was operations director for the charity until 2010.

Edelman, through Green Light Trust, produced Hunstein Range Report ‘Integrating Enterprise, Culture and Conservation in the Upper Sepik’ (1995) in collaboration with Paul Chatterton at the World Wide Fund for Nature and Denis Waliawi, Coordinator of Friends of the Sepik.[10]

Other projects[edit]

In 2010, Edelman returned to writing full-time. His stage play Heath is currently under film option with Missing Link Films.[11]


  1. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (programme booklet), Broadland Printing Co. Norwich, 1975
  2. Evans, Mike, (October 17th 1975), 'Fresh, inventive and vital story of greed', Chester Chronicle
  3. The Electronic Lover, Richard Edmunds, The Monday Play (January 9th 1984), BBC Radio 4
  4. Renton, Alex, (June 21st 1989), 'Rissoles from the first Green production company', The Times
  5. Taylor, Paul, (October 15th 1990), 'Some home truths', The Independent
  6. Trees of Paradise, Richard Edmunds and Nigel Hughes, Malibu, CA : Green Press, 1991, ISBN 0963031201 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  7. Race of the Dugout Canoes, Richard Edmunds, Saturday Playhouse (October 21st 1995), BBC Radio 4
  8. 8.0 8.1 Green Light Trust
  9. 'Actors plant hope to save rainforest' (October 17th 1991), THE STAGE and TELEVISION TODAY
  10. Hunstein Range Report
  11. Heath Ric Edelman

External links[edit]

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