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Simon Stephens


Writers: Film & Television, Writers: Playwrights

Credit: Kevin Cummins

Simon is an award-winning playwright.

His early work at the Royal Court includes BLUEBIRD (1998); HERONS (2001), COUNTRY MUSIC (2004) and MOTORTOWN (2006). In 2008 his play HARPER REGAN opened at the National Theatre, and SEA WALL, starring Andrew Scott, played at the Bush. Simon then had success with his plays PORNOGRAPHY (Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hanover, 2007 and Edinburgh Festival / Birmingham Rep, 2008 and Tricycle Theatre, 2009) and PUNK ROCK (Lyric Hammersmith / Manchester Royal Exchange, 2009) which won the 2009 Manchester Evening News Award for Best Production. In 2011, I AM THE WIND, an adaptation from Jon Fosse’s original, opened at the Young Vic. 2012 saw THREE KINGDOMS performed in London, Tallinn and Munich, MORNING at the Lyric Theatre, and a new version of Ibsen’s A DOLL’S HOUSE at the Young Vic which subsequently transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre in 2013. 

His adaption of Mark Haddon’s novel THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME won the Oliver and Tony Awards for Best New Play (National Theatre, 2012; Apollo Theatre, 2013; Gielgud, 2014 – present; Barrymore Theatre in Broadway, 2015). In 2014 Simon premiered CARMEN DISRUPTION at Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, which transferred to the Almeida Theatre in London in 2015, and BIRDLAND at the Royal Court. His adaptation of Chekhov’s THE CHERRY ORCHARD also opened at the Young Vic in 2014. In 2015, HEISENBERG opened at MTC in New York and transferred to the Friedman in 2016; THE FUNFAIR, Simon’s new version of Ödön von Horváth’s KASIMIR AND KAROLINE, opened at Home Theatre in Manchester; and SONG FROM FAR AWAY, directed by award-winning Belgian director Ivo van Hove, received its UK premiere at the Young Vic. His version of Brecht and Weill’s THE THREEPENNY OPERA opened at the National in May 2016. In 2017 NUCLEAR WAR opens at the Royal Court, his English language version of OBSESSION opens at the Barbican, FATHERLAND opens at the Royal Exchange Manchester, and his new adaptation of THE SEAGULL comes to the Lyric Hammersmith.

Simon also writes for radio; plays include FIVE LETTERS HOME TO ELIZABETH (2001) and DIGGING (2003), both BBC, Radio4. Simon’s screenwriting includes a two-part serial DIVE (with Dominic Savage) for Granada / BBC (2009), a short film adaptation of PORNOGRAPHY for Coming Up: Channel 4 (2009) and CARGESE for Sprout Pictures (Sky Arts, 2013).

Other awards include the 2001 Pearson Award for Best Play for PORT and the 2005 Olivier Award for Best New Play for ON THE SHORE OF THE WIDE WORLD.  Simon has won the Theater Heute’s Award for MOTORTOWN in 2007, PORNOGRAPHY in 2008 and WASTWATER in 2011.

Simon is Artistic Associate at the Lyric Theatre and Associate Playwright at the Royal Court. He was also on the board for Paines Plough between 2009 and 2014, and was a Writers’ Tutor for the Young Writers’ Programme at the Royal Court between 2001 and 2005.