The Art of Stephanie Sinclaire :: Painting, Art, Film, Theatre, Writing

Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith

Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith


Adapted from JM Barrie’s DEAR BRUTUS and directed by Stephanie Sinclaire







Several strangers meet at the country house of the mysterious Lob for a summer house party. The mansion is beautiful but odd, the host eccentric, the butler menacing. There is an eerie magical wood that can only be entered on Midsummer Night. Lob sends them into the wood where it is revealed that what they all have in common is a desire for a second chance. The Machiavellian Lob is the master puppeteer and the second chance they hope for is nothing like what they expect. Their secret wishes set them upon a wild fantasy adventure. Their ultimate realizations when the ‘spell’ is broken are no less hilarious and moving then the journey that got them there. The subtle, underlying message that our destiny lies within and that to change our lives we must first change ourselves, is a message for our times.



THE SHADOW MASTER is based on JM Barrie’s DEAR BRUTUS. It has been a critical and popular success in all its presentations: in the 20’s with Gerald du Maurier, in the 40’s with John Geilgud and Stephanie Sinclaire’s two productions in the late 90’s and 2008. Her 90’s revival led to the award of the coveted film rights from the Barrie estate and film development funding. Her screenplay was developed through screenplay workshops and readings with noted actors including Tom Conti, Patricia Hodge, Prunella Scales and Timothy West. For the recent ‘stage to screen’ production Sinclaire, in a unique experiment with the Kings Head Theatre, directed the screenplay on stage, fully underscored, with over 300 music and lighting cues, creating a heightened environment that drew audiences back for several viewings and once again garnered critical acclaim for this haunting fantasy. She will film the excellent ensemble cast of the theatre production with special casting of key roles: MR. COADE (Richard Attenborough), MRS. COADE and two new characters, BILLY and MIRANDA. Its magical blend of astute social satire, high comedy, sexual misadventure, bacchanalian revelry and sudden poignant tragedy will be finally realized to their full in a transfer to film.



Reviews for the first London production

Directed, produced & adapted by Stephanie Sinclaire


“A strange haunting tale of a magic wood which allows its visitors to have a second chance at their lives. Located somewhere between Star Wars and Wizard of Oz … the next Disney”
Sheridan Morley, The Spectator


“It might almost be a detective story… The production… is a triumph … excellent performances.”
John Gross, Sunday Telegraph


“… a treasure … a satirical fantasy. The adaptation and skilful staging … makes ideal entertainment. Warmly recommended.”
John Thaxter, The Stage


“Genuine humour and poignancy … Sinclaire efficiently dispenses the thrills…Felix and Naomi Bell’s eerie music catches just the right mood.”
Kate Stratton, Time Out


“The cast tread surely over the serious ground this deceptively playful work covers … a distinct sexual undertow.”
Graham Hassel, What’s On


“Childhood, love, loss, the passing of innocence … This is Peter Pan for grown-ups but then Peter Pan was for grownups too.”
Nick Eisen, Highbury and Islington Express


“Barrie has a vampire-like knowledge of where to find the emotional artery. The cast invest their roles with conviction … feel-good theatre.”
Jeremy Kingston, The Times


Reviews for the first stage to screen production

Directed, produced & adapted by Stephanie Sinclaire





“More Pan’s Labyrinth than Master of Shadows. A magically mysterious piece that feels like a collision between A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was particularly taken by Neil Henry’s weirdly louche servant. Keith Faulkner plays the master of ceremonies, Lob, like Gene Wilder on angel dust. Helen Anker transforms enjoyably from stuffy Lady Caroline to lively woodland sprite.”
Camden New Journal


“Joanna, played with finesse by the suitably glamorous Charlotte Radford, turns from a steamy seductress into a cardigan wearing drip of a wife … Helen Anker shows her versatility as the snooty Lady Caroline who turns free spirit in the woods. Neil Henry, who at one moment seems perfectly cast as the crooked servant and the next inhabits the skin of a money-hungry city worker with similar ease, is as thrilling in his acting as in his magic, while Billy Geraghty’s tormented artist is masterful.”
Kate Jackson, What’s On Stage


“FOUR STARS … Director Stephanie Sinclaire has cast her characters beautifully and added modern relevance to her adaptation … This is an elegant, stylish production of an enjoyable dark fairytale.”
Aline Waites, Ham & High


“Satisfying emotional resonance.”
Andrew Haydon, Time Out


“Keith Faulkner plays Lob with confidence and ease. Neil Henry as the butler Matey turns his hand to some real magic and in the second half pairs off with the snooty Lady Caroline – Helen Anker, in a plum role. Naomi Preston-Low steals the show as the innocent of the piece, Margaret. In a love triangle, Oliver Stoney plays a seedy musician who cheats on his wife. Katherine Kastin is Mabel, a vivacious actor who brings energy to the role and works remarkably well opposite Charlotte Radford as the flighty Joanna. Billy Geraghty and Oona Kirsch complete the dinner party as a couple on the verge of emotional collapse, mourning for the child they never had.


Stephanie Sinclaire’s direction is tight and is complimented by a superb artistic team, including some wonderful movement – considering the intimacy of the King’s Head stage – by Marc Urquhart. Georgia Lowe’s wonderful set creates a mystical wood and ancient manor house beautifully coloured and enchantingly lit by Peter Harrison.”
Graham Hassel, What’s On


All rights with Dragonlady Films and Theatre



By Stephanie Sinclaire and Steve Simmons

An animated feature in development, based on a poem by Stephanie Sinclaire.

Concept art by Steve Simmons.


Click here to read the original poem.


To watch the experimental first pass trailer, go to:


For more Clara and the Manatee artwork and information about the artist go to:



A Stephanie Sinclaire Film



‘Scooby Doo 2’, ‘Batman and Robin’, ‘Clueless’, ‘Miss Match’, ‘Beauty Shop’, the Broadway production of ‘The Graduate’.


Alicia re-invents herself in a compelling, erotic and beguiling turn as Violet.





Leigh Lawson with Vaida Buyte



Melanie Giliati



“Silence Becomes You” written, directed and produced by Stephanie Sinclaire, with fellow producer Karl Richards, and starring Alicia Silverstone, Sienna Guillory and Joe Anderson is filming in and around Vilnius, Lithuania, until the beginning of February 2005

Two sisters, Grace and Violet, bound together by more than blood, live a reclusive life in a large mansion, detached from society and reality too. They have a plan. It’s hardly conventional, but the outcome nine months later is all that counts. Whatever they do they must not fall in love with the man that they choose to ensnare. Starring Alicia Silverstone (Batman and Robin, Clueless), Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil: Apocalypse) and rising newcomer Joe Anderson, SILENCE BECOMES YOU is a highly charged romantic drama set in contemporary New England. A Dragonfly Films production, SILENCE BECOMES YOU is written, directed and produced by Stephanie Sinclaire (Associate Artistic Director of the Kings Head Theatre), with fellow UK producer Karl Richards.

Grace (Sienna Guillory) and Violet (Alicia Silverstone) are two beautiful sisters from a very sheltered upbringing. One is sensual and on the edge, the other controlling and dominant. The sisters are inseparable and prefer the company of each other; although it is apparent Grace is the needier and more reliant on Violet. They hatch a plan that seems flawless, to bring home a guy, to impregnate one of them, and once the deed had been done, he will be kicked out the door.

Violet brings home Luke (Joe Anderson), a handsome yet rugged drifter. He seems the perfect man for the job and relationships are not his thing. For the sisters this is key, as he must not come between the two and break their special bond. Luke however cannot believe his luck as the sisters dote on him. Nether has given much thought to the consequences of opening up their homes and lives to a stranger. The plan quickly unravels as the sexual and emotional intrigue around Luke intoxicates the two sisters, and the atmosphere takes on a form of hedonism, initially serving as a force for good. Luke is also overwhelmed by the situation: a character who would normally take advantage of two vulnerable sisters, he soon finds his heart leading him down a different path. The calm serenity of the house is blown away.

The careful balance that existed between Grace and Violet, soon breaks down as love begins to rear its head. Grace thinks of Luke merely as a kind of toy with whom she enjoys playing, until she realises the depth of Violet’s feelings for Luke. The atmosphere between the sisters thus turns sinister. Luke begins to lose his bearings as he is drawn further and further into this web. Fed up with the game playing, he leaves, only to be drawn back again. He realises he has fallen in love with Violet and cannot keep away.

The love affair between Violet and Luke threatens Grace; she feels her sister has betrayed their special bond but worse she knows that she is lost without her. The emotions spiral out of control and Grace rapidly becomes more unstable. First she seduces Luke to spite Violet and finally, when Luke and Violet attempt to escape from the house, she has a harrowing breakdown, that has repercussion for all. Violet wants Luke, Grace needs Violet. It becomes a life and death situation for all involved.

SILENCE BECOMES YOU is the first official UK-Lithuanian co-production made under the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production. The co-producers are UK tax fund UKFS, and Baltic Film Group in Lithuania. London-based post-production and special effects house Motion FX is providing a facilities contribution. Executive producers include Robert and Ashley Sidaway of UKFS, Michael Ryan of Sequence Films, Robertas Urbonas of Baltic Film Group, John O’Quigley of Motion FX and media lawyer Angela Jackson. LHV/Hermis are one of the key investors. SILENCE BECOMES YOU is being filmed in digital format HD 4:4:4 non-compressed, filming with a Viper HD camera.

The visual look of SILENCE BECOMES YOU has been developed in consultation with multiple Academy Award winner Jack Cardiff (The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, The African Queen).



SILENCE BECOMES YOU is a rare and attractive idea for a movie. Its unusual and stimulating scene cannot fail to intrigue and raise conjecture as to its outcome, and I feel sure it will be a box office success.”
Jack Cardiff OBE, Visual Consultant



Stephanie Sinclaire is the founder of Dragonfly Films, created to make independent films with studio level production values and classic mythical structures. Stephanie apprenticed at The King’s Head Theatre, where she remains Associate Artistic Director, working with actors such as Hugh Grant, Tom Conti, Sam West and writers such as Tom Stoppard, Steven Berkoff, co-producing over 60 plays as well as writing and directing. She co-received the Queen’s Jubilee Award 2002 for contribution to the arts and excellence in the field of directing. She co-produced THE DANCE OF SHIVA featuring Kenneth Branagh (Jack Cardiff DP), which was an Academy Award Finalist in 2000 in the Live Action Short Category (30 minutes) and has completed THE TELL TALE HEART with Jack Cardiff and designer Peter Murton (Lion in Winter, Superman I and II, Bond films, Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove), co-produced with Nigel Wooll and is currently producing and co-directing A MAVERICK IN LONDON, a feature documentary of The Kings Head Theatre.

SILENCE BECOMES YOU Crew Credits include;
Costume Designer – Lizzy Wilson
Production Designer – Augis Kepezinskas
Editor – Toby Yates
Director of Photography – Arturo Smith
Visual Consultant – Jack Cardiff

Storyboard Artist: Jim Fortey

Paintings by Stephanie Sinclaire.

Dragonfly Films Ltd.
@ The King’s Head Theatre • 115 Upper Street • London N1 1QN.


Writer/Director/Producer: Stephanie Sinclaire
Director: Jason Figgis


At 17, Dan Crawford was introduced to the world of the theatre by Robert Ludlam and never turned back. Thirty-four years ago, he founded The King’s Head Theatre, London’s first pub theatre since the days of Shakespeare and the first dinner theatre in the UK.


Over the years, the King’s Head has faced financial troubles, architectural disasters, and imminent closure, but through it all Dan has kept this truly amazing theatre alive. Not only has he nurtured and developed one of the most outstanding theatres in the country, he has sought out and encouraged some of the greatest theatrical talents of the last thirty years.
The actors whose careers were promoted, launched (or re-launched) at the King’s Head range from such theatrical luminaries as Kenneth BranaghSteven Berkoff and Ben Kingsley, to popular stars Hugh GrantRichard E GrantAlan Rickman and Joanna Lumley, and comedians Lily SavageRuby Wax and Mel Smith. The writers whose work has been showcased at the King’s Head include such great playwrights as Brian FrielPatrick Marber and Tom Stoppard. The King’s Head also has the largest and most successful training programme for young directors in the UK.


Dan Crawford is as well-known and well-loved throughout the industry as the people whose careers he has developed: the colourful, eccentric, energetic theatrical maverick whose personality is as big as the theatre itself.



Dragonfly Films in association with XI Pictures is creating a documentary profiling the theatrical legend that is Dan Crawford and the King’s Head Theatre. It offers an intimate, insider’s view of the operation of this treasured, unorthodox theatre and the colourful character at its forefront. The King’s Head: A Maverick in London follows Dan as he casts, rehearses and mounts a production of Michael Wall’s Women Laughing. Amidst disasters with other shows, actresses falling sick and actors throwing tantrums, Dan’s remarkable strength of character, sense of humour, and courage under fire emerge.


Simultaneously, The King’s Head: A Maverick in London offers a whirlwind tour of the history of the theatre through a series of interviews with the artists and writers who have contributed to its success in the past.



Interviewees who have contributed to date include:


Chris Ager
Christopher Biggins
Kenneth Branagh
Norman Coates
Michael Coveney
Robin Dalton
Anita Dobson
Bill Fellows
Emma Freud
Don Gilet
Earl Grey
Nigel Hook
Katherine Kastin
Bill Kenwright
Helen Lederer
Sarah Miles
Omar F Okai
Ann Pinnington
Alan Rickman
Ned Sherrin
Mel Smith
Peter Straker
Wendy Toye
Michael Winner
Leigh Zimmerman


Paul Alexander
Lionel Blair
Orla Brady
Brendan Coyle
Jeremy Conway
Nicholas De Jongh
Mark Eden
Mike Figgis
Uri Geller
Richard E Grant
Valerie Grove
Shaun Hutson
Matthew Kastin
Denis Lawson
Joanna Lumley
Ron Moody
Ken Parry
Michael Praed
Mark Rutherford
Anthony Sher
Victor Spinetti
Angelica Torn
Sam West
Victoria Wood



Steven Berkoff
Poonam Brah
The Heather Brothers
Martin Connor
Mark Crowdy
Janie Dee
Jane Edwards
Lisa Forrell
Sally George
Rupert Graves
Douglas Henshall
Celia Imrie
Dillie Keane
Leigh Lawson
Linda Marlowe
Sheridan Morley
Susan Penhaligon
Corin Redgrave
John Sessions
Lucy Skilbeck
Tom Stoppard
Stewart Trotter
Rupert Wickham
Susannah York




The contributions are by turns hilarious, moving and inspiring. Between the many interviewees, the documentary weaves a tapestry which colours in the fascinating history of a theatre kept alive by the sheer willpower and determination of its extraordinary Artistic Director.



The documentary proposal has been enthusiastically welcomed by Dan and the team at the King’s Head, who are eager to see the theatre fully profiled and celebrated on film. For writer/producer/director Stephanie Sinclaire of Dragonfly Films, the documentary will mark twenty years’ commitment to, and support of, Dan and the theatre, where she is also Associate Artistic Director.


Stephanie and Dan were co-recipients, on behalf of the King’s Head, of the Queen’s Jubilee Award for contribution to the arts and pursuit of excellence in the field of directing in 2002, presented by the Queen and Lord Richard Attenborough. Stephanie’s first film, The Dance of Shiva, featured Kenneth Branagh and was an Oscar finalist in 2000. In 2003, she wrote, directed and produced a short adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart with a team which included Director of Photography Jack Cardiff, Production Designer Peter Murton, and Co-Producer Nigel Wooll. She has several feature films in development, including Silence Becomes You, starring Thora Birch and Christopher Lee.


Stephanie and Dragonfly Films are supported by XI Productions, the production company of Jason and Jonathan Figgis and Uri Geller, the brilliant filmmakers behind The Twilight Hour. This documentary has garnered international critical acclaim, including an IFTA nomination, and has been sold to 100 countries around the world. They are currently shooting a feature film starring Colin Farrell and Keith Duffy and featuring Samantha Mumba and Steven Berkoff. Jason brings his superb vision to The King’s Head: A Maverick In London as the documentary’s co-director.


Executive producer Ann Pinnington’s theatrical career includes her phenomenal achievement as an independent producer at Portman Theatrical Productions, where she was responsible for 64 Number One tours. She was a director of Theatre Royal Bath Presentations, and with Andy Jordan coordinated The Play’s The Thing, a festival of new writing. Among her many highly acclaimed productions was Macbeth at the Riverside Theatre, scored by Brian May. Fifteen years ago, Dan invited Ann to become Associate Artistic Director, and she has worked closely with both Dan and Stephanie ever since.



The documentary holds appeal not only for a traditional ‘arts’ audience as a celebration of the theatre, but for a wider range of viewers because of the well-known faces of the interviewees and the uplifting style and tone of the film. The film is appropriate for pre-watershed scheduling and contains no offensive material.


The film tells a ‘Rocky’-style tale of Dan Crawford’s triumph over adversity, and will capture the eccentricity and originality of this unique internationally-celebrated theatrical landmark. As well as the theatre, we will also be filming in the perfectly-preserved Victorian pub, with its clientele worthy of Bosch and its staff more theatrical than the theatre. The documentary has an educational element as we follow the creation of a play, but will be characterised by the fast-paced, roller-coaster ride of humour and fun which pervade the theatre, where nail-biting anxiety one moment is replaced by exuberant success the next. The documentary is being made with a view both to international television and to festival and theatrical release.


Above all, the film will be an uplifting celebration of one man’s unfailing vision, and the personal sacrifices and outstanding achievement which that vision has engendered.


Adapter/Director: Stephanie Sinclaire

Producers: Stephanie Sinclaire and Brian Freeston
Executive Producers: Cressida Reese and Joe Elias


Premiered at Art Institute of Chicago’s 7th European Union Festival March 2004
Associate Executive Producers
Rebecca and William Vlasic
Co-Producer Nigel Wooll
DP Jack Cardiff
Stephen Lord – LD50, Judge Dredd, Octane, SW9, Bullion Boys (BAFTA – Best Drama).
Oliver Bradshaw – Fat Slags, Time Gentlemen Please, The Importance of Being Earnest
Michael Roberts – A Funny Thing Happened, Only Fools and Horses, Poirot
Mark White – The Walberswick Detectives, The Master of Ballantrae, Orpheus in the Underworld.
Additional Camera Chris Pinnock
Editor Andy Jadavji
Designer Peter Murton
Costume Designer Poppy Mitchell
Sound Guy Forrester
Makeup Jan Keys
Illustrator Steve Simmons
Stills Photographer Mark Tillie
Associate Producer Phil Gates



A man finds himself horrified by the ‘vulture eye’ of his neighbour and is driven first to murder and then to madness.


Set in the late 19th Century, a slightly unhinged man begins to obsess about his neighbour’s ‘vulture eye’. He is kind to him in the day but spies on him nightly at midnight, slowly intruding into his room in the pitch black. Finally on the eighth night, a ray of light falls on the offending eye inflaming our protagonist and driving him to murder. He has so objectified his nemesis that he sees this act only as a triumph over the ‘evil eye’. When the police come to investigate, he is so confident he brings them into the murdered man’s room for the interview and seats himself directly above the floorboards beneath which the murdered man lies. All goes well until he begins to ‘hear’ a tap — is it his imagination, or is it the thud of the dead man’s heart? The thud becomes a thump and then a bold tattoo — he becomes convinced the sound is audible to the police who are toying with him.


He struggles to suppress his anxiety and paranoia until finally the sound overwhelms him and in a frenzy, he confesses all.


Sophisticated horror.


Drawing inspiration from proven ‘tale’ formats such as Roald Dahl’s ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ to create a moody, heightened, atmospheric, suspenseful, entertaining short film.


Using dramatic camera angles and the insertion of beautifully painted storyboards to create a comic book style that is cohesive and contemporary.


Combining direct to-the-audience monologue, voice over and dialogue to draw the audience into the fevered mind of the protagonist.


Varying the editing pace between reality and the protagonist’s frenzied POV.


Very strong light and shadow to heighten atmosphere, slightly stripped colour. Inter-cutting imagery – which relates to the protagonist’s increasingly frenzied sate of mind.





Very sophisticated sound design to delineate between reality and the heightened sounds the protagonist hears. A series of chords replace a score a la The Shining.



The staircase, stairwell, front door and inner room of a Victorian house. A prison cell.



Realistic, but with a slight twist. An homage to Hammer.

Shot at The Kings Head Theatre and Pub & The Little Angel Theatre, London
Distributors Pop Twist and Imaginites



Co-produced by Stephanie Sinclaire for Epiphany Films


“One of the most significant British movies of the year” THE INDEPENDENT

“This ambitious short film’s place in the history of British cinema could prove just as remarkable as the story on which it is based” PREMIERE MAGAZINE


SYNOPSIS: This story is based on fact

India, 1915. British Army Chaplain CAPTAIN GREVILLE (Paul McGann), prepares to accompany his regiment to the Western Front. He is anxious about the fact that only a fraction of the regiment, whose spiritual well-being he is charged with – are Christians: the majority are Hindus whose culture is a mystery to him. His attempts to discuss his concerns with his commanding officer GENERAL WILLIS (Julian Glover) are constantly thwarted – Willis is an old family friend but Greville’s approaches are blocked by junior officers, including COLONEL EVANS (Kenneth Branagh).


A sergeant, BAKSHI (Sanjeev Bhaskar), introduces Greville to a statue of Shiva, a ritual performance which summarises creation. Greville remembers this as he accompanies his men to the front. The affects Greville profoundly.


Conditions are bad but he his particularly appalled by the way the Indian troops seem to be regarded as mere cannon fodder and are antagonised by the British troops, most particularly by Lieutenant Davies (Sam West). Acts of supreme bravery are taken for granted and rarely mentioned in official dispatches. Greville is thrown back on his own faith and finds it wanting.


At home on leave, General Willis finally contacts him. The General is apologetic. He has tried to plead the Indians’ case to Lord Haig, and for his trouble had been relived of his command. The only concession he can offer is that the War Office have made accommodation available for the Indian wounded which will in some way remind them of their homeland.


Greville witnesses the death of Sergeant Bhakshi in the improvised hospital. Distressed at his inability to provide real spiritual comfort, he leaves the building which the war office have so thoughtfully made available to the Indians … it is the Brighton Pavilion.


Gazing out across the English Channel from the end of the pier, Greville finally understands the significance of Shiva’s death.



The driving force behind the SHIVA project was hte bringing together of some of Britain’s leading film-makers and paying tribute to their skill, talent and legacy. Amongst the “executive crew” are:


Legendary production designer JOHN BOX, whose designs have been at the heart of some of the most powerful films of all time, helped recreate the scenes of war. He won Oscars for his work on OLIVER!, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDER, more recently he has worked on FIRST KNIGHT and A PASSAGE TO INDIA. He brings a special perspective to the design of SHIVA’s battlefield scenes as he served as an Acting Colonel in WWII and took part in the Normandy Campaign.


Renowned director of Photography JACK CARDIFF’s unique use of colours in film has educated cameramen around the world. He was the operator on the first colour film to be made in Britain and went on to do ground-breaking work on such classics as THE RED SHOES, THE AFRICAN QUEEN and BLACK NARCISSUS. He has kept up to date with modern camera techology, continuing to work in Hollywood with films including RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II.


JOHN W. MITCHELL is the Sound Consultant on THE DANCE OF SHIVA project. Producer and Director Jamie Payne was keen to ensure that this element of the film received the attention it deserved. “Good location sound is vital on this prohect. Sound is usually one of the first casualties of low budget films – it shouldn’t be”. Mitchell started his career in the 1930s at Ealing and Denham studios. After service in the Royal Navy he worked on over 150 films including GREAT EXPECTATIONS, THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and MANHUNTER.