More About Us

ABOUT THE JOHN GODBER COMPANY

Established in 2011 with the purpose of allowing the playwright John Godber to continue expressing himself through the dramatic form.

After having seen how the board of a theatre can destabilise a company John and his playwright/director/actor wife, Jane, decided to create their own company in order to keep control of their work without the meddling hands of a theatre board who had scant or no theatrical experience.

As Artistic Director Godber had steered Hull Truck from bankruptcy in 1984 to the West End, an international reputation and finally a purpose built £15million theatre which he helped design and raise the money for, which opened in 2010. Shortly after the new theatre had opened the then Artistic Director, Gareth Tudor Price, was made redundant, and Godber, in a gesture of support to his long time friend and artistic colleague, left Hull Truck, after a relationship of twenty six years.

The John Godber Company, which has a base in East Yorkshire has a number of production outlet opportunities; currently they work on the middle scale with Theatre Royal Wakefield, where they are touring Shafted!

The are currently involved on the small scale with Hull University Drama Department and East Riding Council with a tour of Ruby and the Vinyl by John and Elizabeth Godber.

And the company is also involved with Hull New Theatre in two bespoke productions of Bouncers and Men of the World, as well as developing other partnerships in the future.

JGC also has a production partner in the ERT in Beverley and have further plans in 2016.

The John Godber company believes in putting the artist at the centre of the theatrical creative process.

About John Godber

John was born the son of a miner in Upton, West Yorkshire. He trained as a teacher of drama at Bretton Hall College. Whilst he was Head of Drama at Minsthorpe High School, the school he attended as a student, he won every major award at the National Student Drama Festival between 1981 and 1983.

He has recently completed a new play for David Pugh Ltd and is working with DLT productions on a new BBC comedy series.

John’s plays are performed across the world. He has the distinction of being one of the most performed writers in the English language. He has won numerous awards for his plays, including a Laurence Olivier Award and seven Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.

His plays include: Bouncers, Up ‘n’ Under, April in Paris, Teechers, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Cramp, Happy Jack, September in the Rain, Salt of the Earth, Passion Killers, Happy Families, Up ‘n’ Under ll, Gym and Tonic, Dracula, Lucky Sods, Hooray for Hollywood, Weekend Breaks, It Started With a Kiss, Unleashed, Thick As a Brick, Big Trouble in the Little Bedroom, Seasons in the Sun, On a Night Like This, Our House, Departures, Men of the World, Reunion, Screaming Blue Murder, Black Ties and Tales, Perfect Pitch, Going Dutch, Christmas Crackers and Crown Prince.

His first play for the John Godber Co was, The Debt Collectors, a co-production with Theatre Royal Wakefield which garnered critical acclaim and rave reviews from the national press after touring to 14 venues across the country.

Since then the company has successfully toured revivals of Teechers and Bouncers, Weekend Breaks, A kind of Loving and On the Piste.

Within his extensive career in writing and directing in TV and film, John also devised the BBC2 series Chalkface, and his screenplay My Kingdom for a Horse, starring Sean Bean, was nominated for an Alternative BAFTA Award.

John’s first feature film, Up ‘n’ Under, was released in January 1998. In 2005, he cowrote Odd Squad for BBC2 with his wife, Jane, which was shot in Hull using local actors. Odd Squad won two British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards in the Schools Drama category and in the BAFTA Original Writer section.

John has an MA from Leeds University, an hon DLitt from Hull University, an hon DLitt from Lincoln University, a DUni for the Open University and was a PHD research student for five years at Leeds University.

He is a professor of contemporary theatre at Liverpool Hope University, a visiting professor of drama at Hull University, a professor at Sheffield Hallam University, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a fellow of Regents University, London.

John was Artistic Director of Hull Truck for 26 years, taking it from bankruptcy in 1984 to its new home in a £15 million theatre in 2010.

In 2011, he set up The John Godber Company with his playwright wife, Jane, and formed a partnership with Theatre Royal Wakefield to produce two tours of his work each year.

Since then his plays have continued to tour the UK and have been seen by over 100,000 people. Plays produced and toured by the John Godber Company include “The Debt Collectors”, Weekend Breaks, Teechers, Bouncers, Happy Jack, and Shafted.

About Jane Godber

Jane is a co – director of the John Godber Company.

Jane’s stage writing credits include:Say It With Flowers (Hull Truck Theatre); All the Fun of the Fight (Theatre Royal Wakefield); Sold, (co-written with John Godber), I Want That Hair and Wuthering Heights (Hull Truck Theatre); Shakers and Shakers The Musical (co-written with John Godber)(Nottingham Playhouse) , Amid the Standing Corn (Joint Stock Theatre Co) and Back to the Walls (Red Ladder) For television, she co-wrote the BAFTA-winning Odd Squad (BBC); Bloomin’ Marvellous, Shakers, Chalkface and It’s Happy Hour Again.

Writing for radio includes: two series of Spread a Little Happiness (Watershed Productions/BBC), which starred Suranne Jones, Debra Stephenson and Joanne Froggatt and which was co-written with John Godber; Dreaming in English and Bully (BBC).

As a director, Jane has worked for Derby Playhouse, Big Telly Theatre Co in Northern Ireland, Hull Truck, Nottingham Playhouse, NSTC and Soriungboard at the Edinburgh Festival and the Ambassadors Theatre in London.

Jane also works as an actor and has appeared in the original productions of Up ‘n’ Under, Happy Jack, September in the Rain and April in Paris, as well as Coronation Street, Heartbeat,Hollyoaks and the screen plays of Up ‘n’ Under and My Kingdom for a Horse, where she played opposite Sean Bean.

Most recent writing work includes :“The Sculptor’s Surprise” for Theatre Royal Wakefield and the Hepworth Gallery, The Gift for Radio 4; Mollie of the Midfield for York Theatre Royal; and Lost, a new play for the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.

Jane often works in radio and has been a reader for two episodes of With Great Pleasure on Radio 4. and as just appeared in a lead roles In” D for Dexter” a specially commissioned drama serial for Children in Need which was broadcast on Woman’s Hour and John Godber’s Happy Jack and September in the Rain for Radio 4’s Classic Theatre slot. She Has also recently written and presented “My Life on paper” a documentary about UCAS personal statements for radio 4.

Jane has twice been on the judging panel of the International Student Playscript Compeition, worked with NACRO introducing drama to young offenders, been Dramatist in Residence at both Radio Humberside and Hymers College and has run her own award-winning youth theatre co.