Sagittarius Nov 24, 1925 Menai Bridge Actor and Writer
Alun Owen was a British screenwriter, predominantly active in television, but best remembered by a wider audience for writing the screenplay of The Beatles' debut feature film A Hard Day's Night.
Owen was born in Menai Bridge, Wales, but grew up in the English city of Liverpool, where his family moved when he was eight years old. After a short career with the Merchant Navy, for two years Owen worked down a coal mine as a 'Bevin Boy', before moving into repertory theatre as an assistant stage manager. From there he moved into acting, first with the Birmingham Repertory Company and then various other companies, appearing in small roles in films and to a greater degree in the newer medium of television during the 1950s.
By the late 1950s, however, Owen was beginning to realise that his real ambitions lay in writing rather than performing, and he began to submit scripts to BBC Radio. His first full-length play, Progress to the Park, was produced by the Theatre Royal, Stratford East following its radio debut, and later in the West End. A second play, titled The Rough and Ready Lot, was adapted for television by the BBC in September 1959.
His next play was his first to be written directly for television. Titled No Trams to Lime Street, the Liverpool-set piece was presented in ABC Television's Armchair Theatre anthology strand, for which Owen continued to write plays into the 1960s. He also made his feature film scriptwriting debut in 1960, penning The Criminal from a storyline originally by Jimmy Sangster.