Rahila Gupta writing in the Guardian said of Pandora:
This is diversity in the theatre at its best – reaching out across age, race, gender and class,
For over a decade Jennie has been writing for BBC Radio drama, BBC World Service, Theatre and Film.
For Giants Theatre Company she has written PANDORA, which played at The Arcola Theatre in summer of 2010, and SNAFU (Situation Normal All Fucked Up) which had a theatrical reading at Soho Theatre and played at University Theatre, Chicago in Feb/Mar 2016.
I have updated the play to cover recent military issues and it is now called FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition).
In MAY 2015 Jennie’s latest play for Giants, ‘PIECE OF SILK’ had a rehearsed reading at BUSH THEATRE London. It is based on 1001 Nights – or The Arabian Nights, and takes the concept that ”story-telling is a matter of life and death”
‘PIECE OF SILK’ had a sell-out run at The Hope Theatre, Islington, in Summer 2016 and is now being considered for a theatre tour. The play was nominated for a True Honour Award from Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation in recognition of the work done to counteract Honour Based Violence
… you should have heard our comments among ourselves … absolutely admiring your amazing interpersonal skills in getting so much out of us and creating a wonderful play from our stories.
― Lita Misir HU3A
‘NEVER GOING TO BEAT YOU’ a collaboration between Giants Theatre and The Traveller Movement written in Summer 2016 is being developed into a feature film.
All the above were developed with and for Giants Theatre Co.
Giants Theatre Company has a unique methodology, which is entirely in keeping with Jennie’s fundamental belief in theatre: inclusivity.
Taking a well-known myth as a springboard, Giants looks for the modern version, and mines the experiences of specific community groups to provide the material for a original play, written by Jennie.
For women from Haringey University of the 3rd Age, and 14 year old students from Gladesmore Community School in Tottenham, shared their experiences of today’s ‘curses’ that escaped from Pandora’s box.
Your work with all of us in the U3A has really helped me with my self confidence, as you might imagine I had not had much for an awful long time … but I’m feeling better about myself now.
― Frances Peerless HU3A
PANDORA was made up of five linked mini plays – Prejudice, Old Age, Fear, Death, Hope and interspersed with filmed clips of the contributors commenting on huge screens around the theatre space.
I’ve enjoyed the whole experience and interaction and trust built up in the group – especially working with Jennie. Her encouragement and empathy throughout the workshops culminated in Pandora. It contained humour and pathos, reflecting differing facets of our own lives, and human life in general.
― Jude Kelly HU3A
For SNAFU (and FUBAR) Jennie worked with veteran soldiers, serving military, and their families and dependents. SNAFU explores the complex issues of ‘coming home’, both from the point of view of the returning soldier, and the awaiting family. Homer’s Odyssey, written over 3000 years ago, is an ideal myth to explore these themes, as it tells of Odysseus’ twenty-year journey back from the Trojan wars to his home on Ithaca.
I am interested that so many real human situations have been included, all believable and none, to my mind, overdone
– Lord Ramsbotham, GCB, CBE, speaking about SNAFU
For PIECE OF SILK Jennie and Giants worked with Southall Black Sisters, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights, and Not Shut Up, a creative collective for ex-offenders.’ We were exploring themes of enforced marriage and domestic violence … and the relevance of rap and spoken-word.
DEPTFORD WIVES, a 2004 successful radio play based on the true story of Mary Lacy, a female shipwright and architect, is now being produced into a feature film and musical.
October 2105, Jennie wrote a musical for ‘Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival’ with Pedro Ribeiro based on 18th century characters called ‘An Account of the State of the Place – or How to Drink a Glass of Water’
Jennie’s latest play is LILITH, which poses the question: if we were all descendants of Adam and Lilith (Adam’s first wife), rather than Adam and Eve, what kind of world would it be? She worked with SANDS, a stillbirth and neonatal death charity, to develop authentic stories about parental grief. LILITH will be on stage in London’s West End at Trafalgar Studios in Spring 2019.
She is currently developing plays for radio, a TV sitcom, and a short film.
She is ALWAYS on the look-out for new and challenging commissions.
To discuss Jennie’s theatre or film projects, please contact:
Michael Buckman on firstname.lastname@example.org