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  • Biography

    Following an education at Witham Hall and Stamford Boys School he went to University in Edinburgh and read Drama at Queen Margaret College. Whilst there he was hugely influenced by The Citizens Theatre of Glasgow, which was then under the triumvirate directorship of Giles Havergal, Philip Prowse and Robert David McDonald. Upon graduation he moved to London and began working as an actor in television, film and theatre. In the early 90s he joined the company of the Olivier Award winning Return to the Forbidden Planet, written and directed by Bob Carlton, with Pete Rowe as assistant director. This began a long association with Bob Carlton. Having toured with the show for four years, returning to the West End for a run at the Shaftesbury Theatre, he would many years later be invited to join Carltons repertory company at The Queens Theatre, Hornchurch.

    Simon Jessop with actress Lucy Benjamin

    His back catalogue of acting work is varied. Classical work includes playing Caliban in The Tempest, Feste in Twelfth Night, Jaques in As You Like It, the Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet (directed by Terry Hands), Hamlet with Jenny Seagrove, A Midsummer Nights Dream and A Comedy of Errors, all directed by Glen Walford at Ludlow Festival.
    Work in musicals include Return to the Forbidden Planet (cast and cover director 1993-1996 Pola Jones/Andre Ptaszynski), Face, Keep on Running and From a Jack to a King (all written and directed by Bob Carlton), The Rocky Horror Show, A Slice of Saturday Night, In the Midnight Hour, Dick Barton Special Agent, It's a Fine Life and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (Off West End Award).
    Other theatre work includes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Theatr Clwyd / No. 1 Tour, directed by Terry Hands), Ray Say in Little Voice, Dr. Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Stanley in Run for your Wife, directed by Bob Eaton and Ray Cooney, Roy in Nevilles Island, Frederick in Noises Off, The Chairman in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Can't Pay won't Pay, Up n' Under, The Talented Mr Ripley, How the Other Half Loves, Giles Havergals Travels with my Aunt, What the Butler Saw, Ladies Day, Ladies Down Under, The Canterbury Tales, Corpse directed by Robin Herford (Haymarket), La Parisienne (Lyric Hammersmith) and Sweeney Todd directed by its playwright Chris Bond.
    For three years he played the comic half-wit in Pantomime and for seven played Dame.


    Television work includes Second Thoughts (BBC), Night and Day (BBC), Sex Now (LWT), Shewolf (LWT), The Bill (ITV), A Question Of Identity with Bernard Hill (LWT), The Josie Lawrence Show, directed by Geoff Posner (LWT), Strutter (Objective), How TV Ruined Your Life (BBC), Flash Prank (MTV Global), Man v. Expert (Discovery), Meet the Parents (Channel 4) and Richard Hammonds Secret Service (BBC).
    Following these many years working as an actor, he began to develop as a director. He was Assistant Director to Bob Carlton on A Passionate Woman and A Treasure Island and Co-Directed Deathtrap with Matt Devitt. He went on to direct The Great Gatsby (Off West End Nomination), Deadly Murder starring Lucy Benjamin, The Elephant Man (5 star reviews) and Don't Look Now (Three off West End Nominations).
    He was an Associate Director of The Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch from 2014 to 2016.

    Directing and reading a script


Credits Include:

  • Director 'Aladdin'. Queens Theatre, Barnstaple / Imagine Theatre 2016/2017
  • Director 'Coldstream'. Printers Playhouse, transferring to The Observer Building. (Based on Black Watch by Gregory Burke) 2016
  • Director 'Oz and the Pom' by the Heather Brothers. Bridewell Theatre. Rehearsed reading featuring Mark Little and Lucy Benjamin. Produced by Chris Moreno. 2016
  • Director 'Cinderella'. Queens Theatre Barnstaple / Imagine Theatre. 2015 / 2016
  • Director 'Don't Look Now'. Queens Theatre Hornchurch. Three Off West End Nominations. 2015
  • Director. 'The Elephant Man'. Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. 2015 (5 star reviews).
  • Director. 'Deadly Murder'. Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. 2015 (5 star reviews).
  • Appointed Associate Director of The Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch.
  • Director. 'The Great Gatsby'. Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. 2014 (Off West End Nomination. 5 star reviews).
  • Co-Director. 'Deathtrap'. Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. 2013.
  • Assistant Director. 'Treasure Island'. Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. 2013.
  • Assistant Director. 'assionate Woman'. Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. 2013.
  • Cover Director. 'Return to the Forbidden Planet'. 1994-1996 Number 1 Tour / West End. Pola Jones/Andre Ptaszynski (Olivier Award Winner).


For Phoenix FM. Simon discusses the production of The Great Gatsby at The Queen's Theatre.


Phoenix FM talks to Simon and the cast of The Elephant Man.