Christopher Hampton became involved in theatre while studying French and German at Oxford University, and wrote a play in his first year. The Royal Court's production was so successful that it transferred to the Comedy Theatre while he was still a student, making him the youngest writer ever to have a play performed in the West End - a record which still stands. He said at the time that he also hoped to become the oldest writer to have a play in the West End, an ambition he has yet to achieve.
His plays, musicals and translations have so far garnered four Tony Awards, three Olivier Awards, five Evening Standard Awards and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award; prizes for his film and television work include an Oscar, two BAFTAs, a Writers' Guild of America Award, the Prix Italia, a Special Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Hollywood Screenwriter of the Year, and The Collateral Award at the Venice Film Festival for Best Literary Adaptation.
His works for the stage include original plays (APPOMATTOX, THE TALKING CURE, WHITE CHAMELEON, TALES FROM HOLLYWOOD, TREATS, SAVAGES, THE PHILANTHROPIST, TOTAL ECLIPSE and WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE MY MOTHER?); plays adapted from novels (Ödön von Horváth’s YOUTH WITHOUT GOD, Sándor Márai’s EMBERS, Laclos’ LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES, George Steiner’s novella THE PORTAGE TO SAN CRISTOBAL OF A.H.); musicals (SUNSET BOULEVARD, DRACULA: THE MUSICAL and, most recently, STEPHEN WARD, all with Don Black); libretti (WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS, APPOMATTOX and THE TRIAL, all with composer Philip Glass); and many translations (plays by Chekhov, Ibsen, Molière, Horváth, Yasmina Reza, Daniel Kehlmann and Florian Zeller; and a German musical based on Daphne du Maurier’s REBECCA).
Hampton’s screenplays include most recently ALI AND NINO (based on the novel by Kurban Said), ADORE (based on Doris Lessing’s THE GRANDMOTHERS), A DANGEROUS METHOD (based on his play THE TALKING CURE), CHÉRI (from the novel by Colette), ATONEMENT (from the novel by Ian McEwan), IMAGINING ARGENTINA (which he also directed), THE QUIET AMERICAN (from the Graham Greene novel), THE SECRET AGENT (from Joseph Conrad’s novel, and which he also directed), MARY REILLY (from Valerie Martin’s novel inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s JEKYLL AND HYDE), TOTAL ECLIPSE (from his play of the same name, and in which he also performed), CARRINGTON (the first film he also directed), DANGEROUS LIAISONS (based on his play LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES), THE GOOD FATHER(from the novel by Peter Prince), THE HONORARY CONSUL (from Graham Greene’s novel), TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS (from the von Horváth play) and A DOLL’S HOUSE (based on his translation of the play by Ibsen).
His television scripts include mini-series THE GINGER TREE (from the novel by Oswald Wynd), HÔTEL DU LAC (from the Anita Brookner novel), THE HISTORY MAN (from Malcolm Bradbury’s novel), ABLE’S WILL and most recently THE THIRTEENTH TALE starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman, based on the novel by Diane Setterfield.
Upcoming plays in 2018 include TARTUFFE in the West End and THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM at Wyndham's Theatre, London. THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM is the fifth Florian Zeller play Hampton has translated, following THE MOTHER, THE FATHER, THE TRUTH and THE LIE.