Richard taught for several years before writing The Heartbreak Kid, his first play. He won a NSW Literary Award Fellowship in 1989 and an Australia Council Writers’ Fellowship the same year. Richard wrote The Heartbreak Kid screenplay adaptation for the feature film in 1992 and Barrett’s adaptation was voted Best Screenplay at the 1992 Montreal Film Festival. A spin-off television series called Heartbreak High screened in more than thirty countries including the United States and Britain.
Other plays include Favourite Names for Boys commissioned and performed by Railway Street Theatre in 2000, Words of One Syllable produced at Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre in 1990 and Vital Signs which was commissioned and workshopped by National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1995. Richard was a consultant on the film The Sum of Us in 1992 and now lives in the US where he is currently in development on a TV series called Altar Boys, based on the award winning book of the same name by Suzanne Smith.
Richard is also a Programmer and Mentor at “Charlies” the Australians in Film Writers Room in Los Angeles.