Barry Dickins was born in Reservoir, Victoria, and attended local schools until the age of sixteen. After working in North Melbourne factories for five years, he became an apprentice set painter at Channel 7, Melbourne.
Frequenting Melbourne's La Mama Theatre, he began to write short plays and saw his play, Ghosts, produced there in 1974. Dickins is best described as a humorist who employs the people, traditions and rituals of Melbourne in his dramatic writing. His plays are short pieces written for small, intimate theatres where the audience can be directly implicated in the action.
Dickins has written more than fifty plays and is a regular contributor of prose and poetry to many newspapers. In addition to his published plays, he has published novels, stories, autobiographical fiction, reminiscences and selections of his journalism. Furthermore, his cartoons have been seen regularly in the Melbourne Age and are included in a number of his prose publications. Dickins has won a number of fellowships and has been a writer-in-residence at a several theatres and institutions.
'The human and political story of the last man to be executed in Australia, Remember Ronald Ryan won the 1995 Victorian Premiers Literary Award. Dickins portrays the man behind the legend as lovable, cheeky, courageous, and wretched. This edition includes Ryan, a new monodrama spoken from Ryans perspective that speaks to a new audience from his poor and unmarked grave. (Barry Dickins)' (Publication summary)