In performance reviews of productions of Campton's play The Lunatic View: A Comedy of Menace and The Birthday Party, by Harold Pinter, published in the short-lived British drama magazine Encore, drama critic Irving Wardle borrowed the term "comedy of menace" from the subtitle of Campton's play, popularizing the term "comedies of menace".
Campton addressed the matter of critics' "pigeonholing" his work:
Campton was born in Leicester, in 1924. He was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys. From 1942 to 1945, he served in the RAF, and then, for another year, in the Fleet Air Arm. He worked as a clerk in the City of Leicester Department of Education until 1949 and then moved to the East Midlands Gas Board, where he worked until 1956. Campton worked with Stephen Joseph in developing theatre in the round in Britain and played a major role in establishing theatre-in-the-rounds in both Scarborough, North Yorkshire (now in the well-known Stephen Joseph Theatre, a converted 1930's Odeon cinema) and Staffordshire in the English West Midlands. He worked as writer, actor and also regularly ran the box-office and front-of-house. Campton always credited himself with giving a young Alan Ayckbourn one of his first jobs at Scarborough with the immortal words, 'watch me my boy and one day you might become a playwright like me!' Ayckbourn later became Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre and an internationally renowned playwright. Campton was always keen to encourage those interested in drama, even amateurs. At age seventy-six, Campton directed and appeared in one of the plays he had previously written for Stephen Joseph at Scarborough, Passport to Florence, with a group of amateurs, ACTWS, in Leicester. This may have been his final performance on stage.
First prize in a competition sponsored by the Tavistock Repertory Company.
British Arts Council bursary (1958)
British Theatre Association prizes (1975, 1978, 1985)
The Lunatic View: A Comedy of Menace (1958), which includes:
A Comedy of Menace
Getting and Spending (produced 1957)
The Life and Death of Almost Everybody
After Midnight––Before Dawn (produced 1978)
The Cagebirds (produced 1971)
Can You Hear the Music? (produced 1988)
Cards, Cups and Crystal Balls (produced 1985)
Do-It-Yourself-Frankenstein Outfit (produced 1975)
Everybody's Friend (produced 1975)
Little Brother, Little Sister (produced 1970)
Memento Mori (produced 1957)
Mrs Meadowsweet (produced 1985)
Now and Then (produced 1970)
Our Branch in Brussels (produced 1986)
Out of the Flying Pan (produced 1970)
Parcel (broadcast 1968)
Permission to Cry
Relics (produced 1973)
Right Place (produced 1970)
Singing in the Wilderness (produced 1985)
A Smell of Burning (produced 1957)
Smile (produced 1990)
Then (produced 1980)
Us and Them (1972)
What Are You Doing Here?
Who Calls? (produced 1979)
Winter of 1917 (produced 1989)
Some Of My Best Friends Are Smiths
Resting Place (produced 1969, as part of the revue entitled Mixed Doubles)
Laughter and Fear. London: Blackie, 1969. ISBN 0-216-89077-2 (10). ISBN 978-0-216-89077-0 (13).
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