Nell Gwynn

Jessica Swale


Nell Gwynn

Jessica Swale

Writer

Jessica is a British playwright, screenwriter and director. She trained at Central School of Speech and Drama and Exeter University. 

As a writer, Jessica’s first play Blue Stockings (Shakespeare’s Globe, 2013) won her an Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright nomination and is now on the GCSE drama syllabus. Nell Gwynn (Shakespeare’s Globe, 2015) transferred to the West End starring Gemma Arterton and won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Jessica is currently adapting Nell Gwynn as a feature film with Working Title. She is also writing the Horrible Histories movie for Altitude Pictures, alongside developing projects with Studio Canal and Fox Searchlight, and reuniting with Arterton for Summerland, her first directorial feature film.

Other writing for theatre includes All's Will that Ends Will (Bremen Shakespeare Company), Thomas Tallis (Wanamaker Playhouse), adaptations of Sense and Sensibility, Far from the Madding Crowd (Watermill), The Secret Garden, Stig of the Dump (Grosvenor Park, Chester) and The Jungle Book (Northampton). She is currently working on a new play, The Mission, about secret adoptions in 1920s, for Chichester Festival Theatre.

As director, Jessica set up Red Handed Theatre Company in 2006, with whom work includes The Belle's Stratagem (Evening Standard Best Director 2012 nomination), The Busy Body, The Rivals, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Southwark Playhouse); The School for Scandal (Park Theatre) and Palace of the End (Arcola). Other credits include Fallen Angels (Salisbury Playhouse), Bedlam (Shakespeare's Globe), Winter (Theatre Newfoundland, Canada) and Sleuth, Sense and Sensibility and Far from the Madding Crowd (Watermill Theatre).

Jessica is also an Associate Artist with NGO Youth Bridge Global, who use theatre as a development tool in war torn countries. She is author of a best-selling series of drama games books, published by Nick Hern.

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