Jemma Kennedy

After spending my twenties working in the music industry in London and New York, I wrote my first novel Skywalking, published in 2003. I began writing for the stage in 2004. I was Pearson Playwright at the National Theatre in 2010/11 and part of the inaugural Soho Six playwrights on attachment at the Soho Theatre in 2012, Recent plays include The Prince and the Pauper and The Summer Book for the Unicorn Theatre; Don’t Feed the Animals for National Theatre Connections; The Grand Irrationality for Lost Theatre Studios; The Gift for New Vic Theatre Hoard Festival and First Person Narrative for Tonic Theatre. I'm currently under commission to the National Theatre where I also teach playwriting and created their online playwriting course for young people, New Views. My first feature film Captain Webb was produced in 2015. I have recently adapted Barbara Pym’s novel Excellent Women for BBC Films/Raindog Films and am developing Hermione Eyre’s novel Viper Wine as a TV series for Objective Productions. My feature screenplay Last Christmas is currently in development with the BFI’s First Feature programme with director Amanda Boyle and producer Judy Counihan. I've recently signed up to adapt Lissa Evans’ novel Crooked Heart for BBC Films, co-produced by Frida Torresblanco and Rachel Weisz.

London (Greater London)

Giles Smart
United Agents
12-26 Lexington Street
London W1F 0LE
T +44 (0) 20 3214 0800


Last Christmas, original screenplay. In development, supported by a Wellcome Trust Development Award / BFI First Feature Funding. Director Amanda Boyle, producer Judy Counihan (Solution 3/Company Films)

 Crooked Heart, adapted from the novel by Lissa Evans. In development with BBC Films and Braven Films. Producers Frida Torresblanco and Rachel Weisz

Excellent Women, adapted from the novel by Barbara Pym. In development with BBC Films & Raindog Films

 Captain Webb, original screenplay. Director Justin Hardy, producers John Toba & James Salter (Marathon Films, Miramax); cinema release in 2015

Want of a Wife, original screenplay by Jemma Kennedy and Justin Hardy & John Toba. Optioned by Hardy Pictures 2010, director Justin Hardy, producer Manuela Noble


The Bank of Britain. Commission by the National Theatre, in development

The Gift. Produced at New Vic Theatre in 2015, director Gemma Fairlie

Second Person Narrative. Commission by Tonic Theatre for Platform, published by Nick Hern Books 2015

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson, adapted by Jemma Kennedy. Produced at the Unicorn Theatre in 2014, director Douglas Rintoul

The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks, adapted by Lynne Reid Banks and Jemma Kennedy; optioned by the Ambassadors Theatre Group 2014

Tango by Slawormir Mrożek, adapted by Jemma Kennedy. Staged showcase at the Young Vic in 2014, director Andrea Ferran

 Don’t Feed the Animals. Produced at The Shed, National Theatre for NT Connections in 2013

 The Grand Irrationality. Produced at the Lost Theatre Studio Los Angeles in 2013, director John Pleshette

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain adapted by Jemma Kennedy. Produced at Unicorn Theatre in 2012, director Selina Cartmell

A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Short play commissioned by the National Theatre for Paint Frame New Writing Festival 2011, unproduced

Sheep May Safely Graze. Commission by the National Theatre 2009.

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov adapted by Jemma Kennedy. Tabard Theatre 2007, director Anthony Shrubsall

Evensong. Site specific for Landscape Productions, Shropshire 2006, director Paul Warwick

The Windmill. Commissioned as part of a Jerwood Arvon Young Playwright’s Apprenticeship. Rehearsed Reading 2005, Soho Theatre, director Paul Warwick

 Honesty Bar. Runner up, Royal Exchange Write Now Competition 2004. Rehearsed reading 2004, Royal Exchange Theatre, diretor Sarah Frankcom


How to Remember the Dead. BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play broadcast 2007, producer Polly Thomas


Skywalking. Novel published in 2003 by Viking Penguin


Books, Film, Radio, Television, Theatre