James Graham (playwright)

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James Graham

Graham in 2018
Graham in 2018
Born (1982-07-08) 8 July 1982 (age 40)
United Kingdom
Alma materAshfield Comprehensive School
University of Hull
GenrePolitical drama, comedy
Notable awardsOlivier Award

James Graham OBE FRSL (born 8 July 1982) is a British playwright and screenwriter. His work has been staged throughout the UK and internationally, at theatres including the Bush, Soho Theatre, Clwyd Theatr Cymru and the National Theatre.


Graham grew up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire,[1] and was educated at Ashfield Comprehensive School and the University of Hull, where he studied drama.

His first professional play Albert's Boy was produced by the Finborough Theatre in west London, where Graham became playwright-in-residence. His first major play This House was commissioned by the Royal National Theatre, where it was critically and commercially acclaimed, transferred to the larger Olivier Theatre, and was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Play. This House was revived in 2016 and ran for two years, first in the West End and then on a national tour. In 2018 Graham won his first Olivier Award, for Labour of Love as best new comedy (his other play Ink was nominated for an Olivier in the same year).[2] He wrote the book for the Broadway musical Finding Neverland, and two of his own plays, Privacy and Ink (for which he received his first Tony Award nomination), transferred to Broadway.

Graham's debut feature film X+Y premiered in 2015, and he has written numerous TV dramas, including the TV films Coalition (which won the Royal Television Society award for Best Single Film) and Brexit: The Uncivil War (nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie). In 2019 Graham wrote and executive produced a three-part TV adaptation of his stage play Quiz which aired in 2020.[3]

In June 2018, Graham was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in its "40 Under 40" initiative.[4]

In January 2019, Graham's life and work was the subject of an in-depth BBC One documentary as part of the Imagine series.[5]

In May 2019, his play This House was voted Play of the Decade in Bloomsbury Publishing's '60 Years of Modern Plays' public vote.[6]

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to drama and young people in British theatre.[7]

In 2022, it was announced that Graham had written the book for a new musical about the life of televangelist Tammy Faye Messner, with Elton John and Jake Shears writing the music. 'Tammy Faye' will open at the Almeida Theatre in October 2022.[8]

His plays are published by Methuen.[9]



  1. ^ Chakelian, Anoosh (28 January 2013). "Ayes to the playwright: James Graham interview". Total Politics.
  2. ^ Masso, Giverny (9 April 2018). "Olivier Awards 2018: Political theatre is making a comeback, says James Graham". The Stage.
  3. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (16 August 2010). "ITV and AMC Order 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' Cheating Drama 'Quiz'". Variety. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  4. ^ Flood, Alison (28 June 2018). "Royal Society of Literature admits 40 new fellows to address historical biases". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  5. ^ "BBC One - imagine..., 2019, James Graham: In the Room Where It Happens".
  6. ^ "This House 60 Years of Modern Plays". Bloomsbury. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  7. ^ "No. 62866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 2019. p. N12.
  8. ^ Sherwood, Harriet (23 August 2022). "Musical Tammy Faye tells gay icon's life story with score by Elton John". The Guardian.
  9. ^ Bloomsbury.com. "Bloomsbury - Search". Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Wilton's Music Hall | James Graham's Sketching". Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Hull Truck Theatre". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  12. ^ Supercool (20 August 2017). "Quiz | Chichester Festival Theatre". Chichester Festival Theatre. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Labour of Love, a new comedy by James Graham". Labour of Love.
  14. ^ Kenny, Fred. "Spring 2017 Season - Spring 2017 - What's on & Tickets - Almeida - About Us". almeida.co.uk.
  15. ^ "Thereviewshub.com". Retrieved 4 January 2019.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Mountford, Fiona (7 March 2015). "James Graham interview: meet the writer bringing drama to this year's election race". independent.co.uk. The Independent. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  17. ^ Shao, Yiqing (11 July 2014). "Writer James Graham Talks New Musical Finding Neverland". Boston Magazine.
  18. ^ "The Angry Brigade, Theatre Royal, Plymouth - Kate Maltby". 26 September 2014.
  19. ^ Spencer, Charles (22 April 2014). "Privacy, Donmar Warehouse, review" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  20. ^ "This House on Tour - in the UK from February to June 2018". www.nationaltheatre.org.uk. 20 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Curtis Brown". www.curtisbrown.co.uk.
  22. ^ "Finborough Theatre". www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk.
  23. ^ "The Whisky Taster", Bushtheatre.co.uk Archived 24 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Bushtheatre.co.uk Archived 11 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Finborough Theatre". www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk.
  26. ^ "Little Madam". www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk. Finborough Theatre.
  27. ^ "Eden's Empire". www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk. Finborough Theatre.
  28. ^ "Alberts Boy - 2005 - Finborough Theatre". www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk.

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