Jonathan Harvey (playwright)

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Jonathan Harvey
BornJonathan Paul Harvey
(1968-06-13) 13 June 1968 (age 51)
Liverpool, England, UK
Occupation Playwright, screenwriter

Jonathan Paul Harvey (born 13 June 1968) [1] is an award winning English playwright.


Life and works

Harvey [1] was born in Liverpool in 1968 to Maureen and Brian Harvey. [2] He has a brother, Timothy Harvey who is a music teacher in Chester. A former secondary school English teacher, his first serious attempt as a playwright was in 1987. He entered a competition, with a first prize of £1,000, for young writers at the Liverpool Playhouse, with his play The Cherry Blossom Tree , a blend of suicide, murder and nuns. He won National Girobank Young Writer of the Year Award for The Cherry Blossom Tree. [ citation needed ]

Encouraged by this success he wrote Mohair (1988), Wildfire (1992) and Babies (1993), the latter won the 'George Devine Award' for 1993 and The Evening Standard's 'Most Promising Playwright Award' for 1994. In 1993, Harvey, premiered Beautiful Thing , a gay-themed play-turned-movie for which he won the 'John Whiting Award' in 1994. [ citation needed ]

In 1995 his play Boom Bang-a-Bang premiered at the Bush Theatre, London, and was originally directed by Kathy Burke. Harvey cites it as "my most comic play ever, but with some dark bits". Centred on a group of friends gathering to watch the Eurovision Song Contest, the play was a sell-out. Also in 1995 Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club was premiered. Guiding Star (1998), is a portrayal of a man's struggle to come to terms with the Hillsborough FA Cup Semi-Final disaster, while Hushabye Mountain (1999) deals with a world that has learned to live with HIV/AIDS. Television and film works include: West End Girls (Carlton); Love Junkie (BBC); Beautiful Thing (Channel Four/Island World Productions); the 1999-2001 hit/cult comedy series starring Kathy Burke and James Dreyfus, Gimme Gimme Gimme (Tiger Aspect); Murder Most Horrid (BBC); and Coronation Street (ITV).

He wrote the book for Closer to Heaven , a stage musical with songs and music written by Pet Shop Boys. Closer to Heaven ran for nine months at the Arts Theatre in London during 2001 and in Australia in 2005. In 2003, on hearing the singer-actress Abi Roberts perform, he offered to write a solo show for her. Taking Charlie was the outcome, staged at the 2004 Edinburgh Festival with Roberts starring, under the direction of Susan Tully. The piece was darkly comic and focused on the destructive nature of an insecure, 30 year-old addict. [3]

His first novel All She Wants was published in 2012 by Pan Books. [4]

Since 2013, Harvey has co-written the BBC Radio Four sitcom series What Does the K Stand For? based on the experiences of comedian Stephen K. Amos growing up as a teenager in south London in the 1980s. [5] [6] The programme's third series commenced in January 2017. [7]

Harvey is married to casting director Paul Hunt.




Television and film


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  1. 1 2 Jonathan Harvey biography,; retrieved 27 November 2011.
  2. "Harvey, Jonathan Paul, (born 13 June 1968), writer and playwright, since 1987", Who's Who, Oxford University Press, 1 December 2016, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u276381 , retrieved 17 December 2019
  3. "Gay Power: The pink list". The Independent . London, UK. 2 July 2006. Archived from the original on 7 January 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  4. Williams, Charlotte (24 January 2011). "Pan Mac acquires debut from "Corrie" writer". The Bookseller .
  5. "What Does the K Stand For?". BBC Online . BBC. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  6. Writers: Jonathan Harvey, Stephen K. Amos; Producer: Colin Anderson (27 November 2013). "Turning Cheeks". What Does the K Stand For?. BBC. BBC Radio Four . Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  7. Writers: Jonathan Harvey, Stephen K. Amos; Producer: Paul Sheehan (25 January 2017). "Working for a Living". What Does the K Stand For?. BBC. BBC Radio Four . Retrieved 1 February 2017.