Simon Donald

Playwright and writer for television

Theatre, Film & TV
Nick Marston
+44 (0)20 7393 4450
Email Nick


Simon Donald is an award-winning writer for stage and screen, whose play The Life of Stuff earned him both the Evening Standard Best Playwright Award and the London Critics Award for Best New Play when it was produced at the Traverse Theatre in 1993.

In 2006, Simon wrote the television thriller Low Winter Sun, which starred Mark Strong and won the RTS Award for Best Drama Serial, as well as being nominated for a host of other awards. Low Winter Sun was remade for the US market in 2013 and aired on AMC.

He has since gone on to write on the critically acclaimed mini-series, Wallander, as well as developing his own six-parter, The Deep, with Tiger Aspect and the BBC.  

Simon' latest television project, the 12-part drama Fortitude for Tiger Aspect will air on Sky Atlantic in January 2015.


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Creator and Writer
Fortitude 12 x 60'
Tiger Aspect for Sky Atlantic
In development
Creator Simon Donald
Producer Matthew Bird & Trevor Hopkins
Director Sam Miller
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Richard Dormer, Christopher Eccleston, Michael Gambon, Sofie Gråbøl & Stanley Tucci

Thriller set in a remote Arctic town

Heist 5 x 60'
Tiger Aspect
In development
Creator Simon Donald
Writer Simon Donald

The Deep 6 x 60'
Tiger Aspect for BBC
Creator Simon Donald
Producer Will Gould
Director Jim O'Hanlon
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Minnie Driver, Vera Filatova, James Nesbitt & Goran Visnjic

Drama about the crew of an oceanographic submarine who find themselves stranded thousands of feet underwater

Low Winter Sun 3 x 60'
Tiger Aspect for Channel 4
Creator Simon Donald
Producer Rhonda Smith
Director Adrian Shergold
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Mark Strong, Vincent Regan & Burn Gorman

Award-winning thriller about a police detective who kills for revenge

China Blue 1 x 60'
So Television for BBC
In development
Writer Simon Donald

Detective drama

Rebus 6 x 60'
In development
Writer Simon Donald

Adaptation of Ian Rankin's detective novels

Quiet Breath 2009
Box TV for BBC
In development
Writer Simon Donald

Drama Series for the BBC

Wallander: The Man Who Smiled 1 x 60'
Left Bank Pictures for BBC 4
Producer Sanne Wohlenberg
Director Andy Wilson
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Kenneth Branagh, Roland Hedlund, Sally Hurst, Sadie Shimmin & David Sibley

Acclaimed drama following a detective in Sweden

Rough Diamond 6 x 60'
World Productions for BBC
Producer Peter Norris
Director Simon Massey and Dermot Boyd
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Conor Mullen, Lorraine Pilkington & Stanley Townsend

Family drama

Murphy's Law 2 x 60'
Tiger Aspect for BBC
Creator Colin Batman
Producer Various
Director Various
Writer Simon Donald
Starring James Nesbitt, Owen Teale & Michael Fassbender

Television drama about an undercover police officer

The Ebb Tide 1 x 90'
A&E Television for Granada Television
Producer Hilary Bevan Jones
Director Nicholas Renton
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Chris Barnes, Robbie Coltrane, Simon Donald, Steven Mackintosh & Philippe Smolikowski

Television film about a sea captain

Deacon Brody 1 x 90'
Tiger Aspect for BBC
Director Philip Saville
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Al Anderson, Ewen Bremner, Billy Connolly, Lorcan Cranitch & Simon Donald

Television film about a Scottish cabinet-maker and city Councillor who maintained a secret life as a burglar

Doctor Finlay 2 x 60'
Scottish Television Enterprises for ITV 1
Director Patrick Lau
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Ian Bannen, Tony Cownie, Annette Crosbie, Jason Flemyng & David Rintoul

Series set in Scotland in the 1940s about a rural doctor

Traverse Theatre
Director John Mitchell
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Duncan Duff, Brian McCardie & Stuart McQuarrie

Comical snapshot of Edinburgh's underworld in the 90's

Prickly Heat 1988
Traverse Theatre
Writer Simon Donald

Surreal comedy

In Descent 1985
Traverse Theatre
Writer Simon Donald

A Tenant for Edgar Mortez 1984
Abattoir Theatre
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Simon Donald

One man play about a young man looking to let his room

Curfew Feature
Tiger Aspect for Film Four
In development
Writer Simon Donald

Feature film in development

Beautiful Creatures Feature
DNA Films for Universal
Producer Alan J. Wands
Director Bill Eagles
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Iain Glen, Susan Lynch, Tom Mannion, Maurice Roëves & Rachel Weisz

Film following two girls thrown together as they deal with blackmail, murder, betrayal and revenge

My Life So Far Feature
Enigma Productions for Miramax Films
Producer Steve Norris, David Puttnam
Director Hugh Hudson
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Colin Firth, Rosemary Harris, Irene Jacob, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio & Malcolm McDowell

Adaptation of Sir Denis Forman's memoir following the lives of one family on a country estate after World War I

Writer and Director
The Life Of Stuff Feature
Prairie Pictures
Producer Linda Myles
Director Simon Donald
Writer Simon Donald
Starring Ewen Bremner, Liam Cunningham, Jason Flemyng, Ciaran Hinds & Gina McKee

Adaptation of Simon's play about a feared gangster coming back to town to settle old scores