Person NameKemp; Robert; playwright, poet, novelist
Epithetplaywright, poet, novelist
ActivityRobert Kemp (1908-1967) was born on 25 February 1908 on the island of Hoy, Orkney, the son of Arnold L. Kemp, Church of Scotland minister of Longhope, Orkney. In 1914 the family moved to Aberdeenshire when Kemp's father took up the charge of Birse, near Aboyne, and Kemp was educated at the University of Aberdeen. He entered journalism following graduation and worked for the 'Manchester Guardian' before becoming a producer for the BBC in 1937. He produced various radio dramas reflecting his interest in Scots. In 1942 he moved to Edinburgh where he remained throughout his life. His first play 'Whuppity Stoorie' was staged in Edinburgh in 1944. In 1948 he left the BBC in order to concentrate upon his own writing. In 1953 he established the Edinburgh Gateway Theatre, a professional theatre company which encouraged the work of Scottish writers and actors. In 1965 the company was incorporated into the Edinburgh Civic Theatre. He was best remembered as a novelist and playwright: he wrote ‘The Malacca Cane’, ‘The Maestro’ and ‘The Highlander’. He died in Edinburgh in 1967.
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