Jessica is an Olivier Award-winning writer and director. She trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Exeter University.
After graduating as a theatre director from Central, Jessica initially set up Red Handed Theatre Company which she ran as Artistic Director for eight years, before accidentally becoming a playwright. It was never the plan, but it’s been keeping her busy ever since.
As playwright, Jessica’s first play Blue Stockings (Shakespeare’s Globe) won her an Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright nomination and is now on the GCSE Drama syllabus. Nell Gwynn transferred from the Globe to the West End starring Gemma Arterton, and won the Olivier for Best New Comedy.
Jessica is currently writing the screenplay for Working Title, alongside the Horrible Histories movie and an original feature, Summerland, also starring Arterton, which she is directing this summer.
Other plays include All’s Will that Ends Will (Bremen Shakespeare Company), Thomas Tallis (Wanamaker Playhouse), adaptations of The Jungle Book (Northampton), Sense and Sensibility, Far from the Madding Crowd (Watermill Theatre), Stig of the Dump and The Secret Garden (Grosvenor Park, Chester) and her new play, The Mission, about illegal adoptions in the 1920s. In 2012 she won a BAFTA JJ Screenwriting Bursary.
Directing includes The Belle’s Stratagem (Evening Standard Best Director 2012 nomination); 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) and numerous productions for her company, Red Handed, at the Arcola, the Park and Southwark Playhouse. 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.