Playwright and writer for film and television

James Graham is a playwright and film and television writer.

James' play This House premiered at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre in September 2012, directed by Jeremy Herrin, and transferred to the Olivier in 2013 where it enjoyed a sell-out run, and garnered critical acclaim and a huge amount of interest and admiration from current and former MPs for his rendition of life in the House of Commons. It went on to have an Olivier-nominated sell-out revival in the West End in 2017 and it was chosen by popular vote as the best play of the 2010’s for the major theatre publisher Methuen.

Ink, his play about the early days of Rupert Murdoch, opened to huge praise at the Almeida and transferred to the West End in September 2017 where it played in the theatre next door to James’ other new play – political romantic comedy Labour of Love - creating theatre history. Labour of Love went on to win an Olivier Award. Ink went on to transfer to Manhattan Theatre Club on Broadway and be nominated for six Tony Awards.

James wrote the book for Finding Neverland, the musical with music by Gary Barlow. It opened in Boston in Summer 2014 and transferred to Broadway in Spring 2015. His first film for television, Caught in a Trap, was broadcast on ITV1 on Boxing Day 2008.

Brexit: An Uncivil War, tapped into a national conversation, garnering huge public attention and critical acclaim. It was broadcast on Channel 4 and HBO and starred Benedict Cumberbatch. It was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie, a BAFTA for Single Drama and a Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture Made for Television.

This coincided with James being featured on the leading arts programme Imagine. The show explored James’s influences and, in turn, his influence.

James adapted his Chichester and West End hit play Quiz as a three part television piece. Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Matthew MacFadyen and Sian Clifford, the piece was one of the most watched in the first UK COVID 19 Lockdown and trended on Twitter every week.

He is currently adapting his play Ink into a screenplay, developing a film with Lenny Abrahamson, writing a Christmas movie for Working Title and writing a musical with Elton John. His six-part series Sherwood for the BBC, set in his home town in North Nottinghamshire comes to our screens June 2022. 

It's a sharply written, vibrantly theatrical, boisterously performed piece of work. And while it vividly recaptures the now extinct world of Fleet Street — with its adrenalized and testosterone-heavy mix of news hounds and hacks, idealism and cynicism, professional pride and boozy waggishness — the play's depiction of the rise of a certain brand of populism and its immediately detrimental effect on British society makes it profoundly of the moment.

Demetrios Matheou
The Hollywood Reporter on Ink

  • @BaronessDunn Series two! I promise 🍞

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Director Daniel Evans

A provocative new play about Charles Ingram, the man convicted of cheating on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Chichester Festival Theatre and Noël Coward Theatre
Nominated: Six Tony Awards 2019, Nominated: 'Best Play' Evening Standard Awards 2017
Director James Graham
Writer James Graham
  • Bertie Carvel
  • Richard Coyle
  • Pearl Chanda
  • Jonny Lee Miller
  • Fleet Street. 1969. The Sun rises. 

    Almeida Theatre and Duke Of York Theatre; Manhattan Theatre Club, Broadway
    Labour Of Love
    WINNER: 'Best New Comedy' Olivier Awards 2018
    Producer Michael Grandage Company/ Headlong
    Director Jeremy Herrin
  • Martin Freeman
  • Tamsin Greig
  • Political comedy about the Labour party 

    Noël Coward Theatre
    This House
    Nominated: 'Best Play' Evening Standard Awards and Olivier Awards
  • Phil Daniels
  • Vincent Franklin
  • Philip Glenister
  • Set in Westminster This House strips politics back to the practical realities of parliament
    National Theatre, Minerva Theatre Chichester (Revival), Garrick Theatre and UK Tour
    Producer Simon Stokes
  • Joseph Alessi
  • Joanna Brookes
  • Jack Brown
  • Samuel James
  • Vivienne Acheampong
  • Tom Attwood
  • The life of Screaming Lord Sutch as told through iconic British comedy styles of the 20th century. 

    Theatre Royal Plymouth and Soho Theatre
    Director Josie Rourke
  • Gunnar Cauthery
  • Paul Chahidi
  • Nina Sosanya
  • Daniel Radcliffe
  • A dramatic investigation of the digital age

    Donmar Warehouse and Public Theatre Off Broadway, NYC
    Director Josie Rourke
  • Judi Dench
  • Mark Gatiss
  • Catherine Tate
  • A Real time play for television and theatre. 

    Donmar Warehouse
    Director James Grieve
    Writer James Graham
  • Pearl Chanda
  • Mark Arends
  • Lizzy Watts
  • Harry Melling
  • A Paines Plough production about a young urban guerilla group that mobilises against MPs, embassies, police and pageant queens

    Theatre Royal Plymouth
    Director Diane Paulus
  • Kelsey Grammer
  • Laura Michelle Kelly
  • Matthew Morrison
  • A musical about the playwright who wrote Peter Pan, with music and lyrics by Gary Barlow

    Finding Neverland was nominated at the Drama League Awards 2014-2015 for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical and Distinguished Performance Award. 

    American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway
    Director Marianne Elliott
  • Charles Aitken
  • Daniel Betts
  • Kim Cattrall
  • Louise Dylan
  • Dramaturg
    The Old Vic
    Hand-Me-Downs was written as part of the epic performance cycle commissioned by the Bush to open their new theatre
    The Bush Theatre, London
    Director Anthony Banks

    Play for young people

    National Theatre Connections. National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic.
    Director Kate Wasserberg
  • Samuel Barnett
  • Leander Deeny
  • George Rainsford
  • James Graham
  • One man reviews his life of the past year when completing his tax return - with the help of the audience
    Finborough Theatre
    Director James Grieve
  • Samuel Barnett
  • Chris Larkin
  • Simon Merrells
  • Kate O'Flynn
  • Two Generation Y-ers fall in love at an advertising agency
    Bush Theatre, London
    Director Kate Wasserberg
  • Di Botcher
  • Philip Bretherton
  • Kate McGuinness
  • Francois Pandolfo
  • A love story between two people who suffer from a terrible fear of falling things and live lives trapped by their condition

    Clwyd Theatre Cymru
  • Katherine Drysdale
  • Felix Scott
  • Hugh Skinner
  • Co-written play for The Bush and the Latitude Festival
    The Bush Theatre
    Director Kate Wasserberg
  • Barry Aird
  • Colette Kelly
  • William Maxwell
  • Kazia Pelka
  • Set during the winter of discontent, three generations of a family in Hull come to terms with the changes in the country
    Finborough Theatre
    Producer National Youth Theatre
    Director Guy Hargreaves
    Play looking at prejudice, tolerance and tradition in the British Tory Party
    Soho Theatre
    Eden's Empire
    Winner of the Catherine Johnson Best Play Award
    Director Gemma Fairlie
  • Daisy Beaumont
  • Michael Kirk
  • Heywood Morse
  • Jamie Newell
  • Political thriller about Anthony Eden and the Suez Crisis
    Finborough Theatre
    Director Kate Wasserberg
  • Catherine Skinner
  • Simon Yadoo
  • Margaret Thatcher reverts to her childhood and forsees the story of her career
    Finborough Theatre
    Director Max Lewendel
  • Gerard Monaco
  • Victor Spinetti
  • Albert Einstein is forced to confront his past when he receives an unexpected visitor
    Finborough Theatre
  • Mark Joseph
  • Tess Mitchell
  • Kathryn Oliver
  • Play inspired by the experiences of a former mining community
    Edinburgh Festival


    Writer & Creator 

    Drama about two shocking murders which fracture a community, set in the Nottinghamshire village where James grew up. 

    House Productions for BBC One
    Shooting 2021
    3 x '60
    Director Stephen Frears
  • Matthew Macfadyen
  • Michael Sheen
  • Helen McCrory
  • Sian Clifford
  • TV Series based on James' play

    Leftbank Pictures for ITV and AMC for ITV, AMC
    Producer Lynn Horsford
    Director Toby Haynes
  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Rory Kinnear
  • A one part special telling the story of political adviser and strategist Dominic Cummings, in a revealing behind-the-scenes look at the Leave campaign running up to the 2016 European referendum. 

    House Productions for Channel 4
    Producer Jill Green
    Director Michael Samuels
  • Jim Carter
  • Connie Fisher
  • Geraldine James
  • An Elvis-obsessed parking attendent steals from the parking metres to fund her love of 'The King'
    Greenlit Productions for ITV1
    Winner of the RTS Best Single Drama in 2016
    1 x 90
    Creator James Graham
    Producer Sarah Curtis, Dixie Linder (producing), Nick Marston (Exec. producer)
    Director Alex Holmes

    Explores the rise of Nick Clegg during the build-up to the coalition. 

    Cuba Pictures for Channel 4
    Cuba Pictures


    Producer Anna Ferguson
  • Jonas Armstrong
  • Natalie Gavin
  • Pippa Haywood
  • Emma Rigby
  • Drama about wives of prisoners set in Sheffield
    Tiger Aspect for BBC1
    Creator Belle de Jour
  • Billie Piper
  • Tiger Aspect for ITV2
    Creator Peter Morgan
    Director Christian Schwochow
  • Olivia Colman
  • Tobias Menzies
  • Helena Bonham Carter
  • Josh O'Connor
  • Popular Netflix drama about the Royal Family.

    Left Bank for Netflix



    Producer Michael Ellenberg

    Adaptation of James' play of the same name.

    Bron Media
    In development
    Director Lenny Abrahamson

    Adaptation of Neal Bascomb’s book of the same name.

    Film 4
    Element Pictures
    In development
    Producer Scott Rudin
    Director Paul Greengrass

    New big-screen adaptation of George Orwell’s classic dystopian science-fiction novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    Adaptation of Mikey Walsh's autobiography about growing up in a Romany Gypsy family

    BBC Films
    In development
    Director Morgan Matthews
  • Asa Butterfield
  • Sally Hawkins
  • Eddie Marsan
  • Rafe Spall
  • Coming of age feature about young maths prodigies on a trip to China that was listed on the Britlist 2011

    BBC Films
    Origin Pictures



    Director Sasha Yevtushenko.

    James Graham's short drama explores how the 'movement of people' isn't just a distant, global phenomenon but something that's affecting many young people here and now.

    Production Company BBC
    Broadcaster BBC Radio 4
    The Grudge
    1 x 45'
    Director Peter Kavanagh

    Broadcaster BBC Radio 4
    Director Peter Kavanagh
  • Richard Laing
  • Victor Spinetti
  • Adaptation of his stage play about Albert Einstein.
    Production Company BBC Radio 4
    Producer Peter Kavanagh
  • Annabelle Dowler
  • David Hargreaves
  • David Ryall
  • Malcolm Tierney
  • Set during the winter of discontent the play is about Labour stalwart Alf and his struggle to vote

    Broadcaster BBC Radio 4