John Godber was born in West Yorkshire in 1956.

He is known mainly for his work in theatre but has also directed and written a number of plays for television. He is now one of the most performed writers in the English language. He trained as a drama teacher at Bretton Hall College, later working as Head of Drama an Minsthorpe High School. He is Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Liverpool Hope University and Visiting Professor of Drama at Hull University.

His stage plays include Up 'n' Under (1985), winner of the 1984 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy; the multi-award winning Bouncers (1987), which is set around a northern nightclub and its four doormen; Teechers (1989), a classroom comedy; Shakers (1987), later revised as Shakers Restirred (1993), co-written with his wife, Jane Thornton; Perfect Pitch (2002), taking its inspiration from the caravanning world; and many others. More recent plays include Going Dutch (2008); and Our House, Crown Prince, Sold and Christmas Crackers (published as Plays 4, 2009). He has directed all the first productions of his own plays, and directed several plays by other theatre writers.

His work for film and television includes his screenplay for My Kingdom for a Horse; his first feature fiilm, Up 'n' Under, released in 1998; Odd Squad for BBC2 with his wife, involving a local cast and winner of two BAFTA awards. He also wrote and directed the BBC2 series, The Ritz and its sequel, The Continental, and devised the BBC2 series, Chalkface.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and has been Artistic Director of Hull Truck Theatre Company since 1984.


Plays 4
Going Dutch
Thick as a Brick: a musical
Men of the World
Departures: a comedy in ten airports
Plays 3
Perfect Pitch
On a Night Like This
Plays 2
Plays 1
It Started with a Kiss
Gym and Tonic
Weekend Breaks
Dracula/Bram Stoker
Blood, Sweat and Tears
Passion Killers
The Office Party
Lucky Sods
April in Paris
Shakers Re-Stirred
On the Piste
Happy Families
Salt of the Earth
Five Plays
Up 'n' Under


BAFTA (Original Children's Writer)
BAFTA (Schools' Drama)
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy
Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy
Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy