Biogs are traditionally written in the third person. And for good reason; it allows you to shamelessly blow your own trumpet a little. But also, scribbling down a life lived from the point of view of your 50+ year old self, you start to wonder, “Is that really me?” So…
Stewart Ennis was born in 1961 in Bridge of Weir, (see photo above) Scotland, a shy Plymouth Brethren boy, of uncertain origin, who desperately tried to fit in by walking up and down the street in a bald wig and overcoat, and dressing up as his own mother at the Boys’ Brigade Halloween party.
He first worked as a journalist, then a nurse, then a printer. Then, after trying to join the Royal Navy on the strength of having watched several episodes of Love Boat, and being rejected on account of having monocular vision, (a condition that, ironically, he shared with Admiral Nelson), he trained as an actor at the passionately inward looking East 15 Acting School and then at the playfully outward looking Ecole Philippe Gaulier. Sorted.
Since 1986 he’s had the pleasure to work with some brilliant Scottish theatre Companies including; Communicado, Roughcast, S.D.G, The Tron, The Arches, Hullabaloo, ConFab, Giant, Reeling & Writhing, Dundee Rep, Right Lines, TAG and as well as Theatre Sans Frontiers in Northumbria, Theatre Urubaru in Finland and Tinderbox Theatre in Belfast.
In 1990 he co-founded the award winning theatre ensemble Benchtours (originally Theatre Bouffon) and was involved in devising many of their international touring shows including; It’s A Boy, The Splitting of Latham, Ship of Fools, The Death of Don Quixote, Haroun & The Sea of Stories, The Emperor’s Opera, Limbo, Carnivale and Peepshow (the last three being collaborations with Pete Brooks’ & Insomniac Theatre)
As a writer he’s had a number of plays produced, including; The Dark Room, Robert Burns’ Celtic Complex, One Straight Line, Tick One Box and The Taking of Zena Charbonne His most recent play, The Monster and Mary Shelley (produced by The Occasion – f.k.a Benchtours) opened at The Tron Theatre in Glasgow, then stravaiged throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and in England, in 2018 and 2019.
He has taken photographs for a variety of organizations and individuals including album covers, book jackets theatre and documentary. (See ‘Photography’ page for more)
Photographs often feature in his performance and writing work.
As a teacher, he has facilitated writing and performance workshops for a number of organizations, including ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association), The Scottish Community Drama Network, and mental health arts organizations Survivors Poetry and Words Work Well. Since 2011 he has been offender learning Creative Writing & Performance Lecturer at HMP Shotts. His prison work has involved several collaborations with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. and a production of his play, A Thousand and One Antarctic Nights ( performed by prisoners, for children of prisoners)
Visiting Time, an anthology a work from HMP Shotts Creative Writing class will be published in late spring 2019. He has had several short stories published and his first novel, Blessed Assurance, a work of fiction inspired by a childhood growing up in the Plymouth Brethren will be published by Vagabond Voices in September 2019.
He is currently studying a collaborative practice based PhD (in this case, a novel) in Creative Writing with Aberdeen University and Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
He looks forward to adding to this ever growing list of exciting creative projects.
So do I.
(N.B Stewart Ennis is a work-in-progress)