Rodney Bolt was born in South Africa, and read English literature at Cambridge University in the UK. Before leaving South Africa, he worked with the Upstairs Theatre in Durban, an offshoot of Johannesburg’s Market Theatre. His anti-apartheid play focusing on the life of Gandhi, Gandhi: Act Too, won a Critics’ Circle Award for best new drama, before police closed the theatre. After graduating from Cambridge, Rodney worked as a writer-director in London, running two fringe theatres – first the Man in the Moon on the King’s Road, and then establishing the Rosemary Branch Theatre in Islington. During this time he worked, among other productions, on The Marie Lloyd Story and Bondage, a play about King’s Cross prostitutes, with text by a London cab driver, later made into a film entitled Whore by Ken Russell.
In the 1990s, Rodney moved to Amsterdam and took up travel writing. He has published extensively with international newspapers and magazines, such as The Daily Telegraph, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveller, and inflight magazines Holland Herald (KLM) and Skyward (Japan Airlines). Rodney has been awarded national travel-writing prizes in Germany and the USA. Around the turn of the century he turned to fiction and biography. His fictional life of Christopher Marlowe, History Play is published by HarperCollins, and Lorenzo Da Ponte (a biography of Mozart’s librettist, published by Bloomsbury) was nominated as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His most recent biography was As Good As God, As Clever As The Devil, a book on the impossible life of Mary Benson. As ‘Britta Bolt’ (together with lawyer Britta Böhler) he writes crime books, all set in Amsterdam. Rodney is a naturalized Dutch citizen, and lives in Amsterdam.