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Jess and Joe Forever

  • Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough (map)

The Stephen Joseph Theatre presents:

Jess and Joe Forever

A play that won its writer the title of Most Promising Playwright in last year’s Off West End Awards receives its regional premiere at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre this autumn.


Jess and Joe Forever is a funny, surprising and poignant play about teenage friendship, growing up and the frictions that still exist between urban and rural communities. Jess is a girl from a big city who is holidaying in Joe's seaside town. They are both outsiders who gradually, over several summers, form a friendship that changes both of them forever. 


It’s a coming-of-age tale full of soil, secrets and scotch eggs.


Director Lotte Wakeham says:  “Jess and Joe Forever is a really incredible piece of writing. This is the regional premiere, and we thought Scarborough audiences would really connect with it, and have a great time. It’s set in a seaside town that could be a bit like Scarborough, and we just think audiences will love it - I think it’s one of the great new plays of the last five years.”

“It’s about quite young characters but is absolutely for audiences of all ages – however old you are I think you’ll really enjoy spending the evening with these two really fascinating people and hearing all about their lives. It’s a very funny and really heart-warming story, touching on lots of interesting topics. It’s unusual and I think audiences will have a great time.”


Misha Butler, who plays Joe, grew up in London. His TV credits include Casualty and Doctors and a leading role in the Netlix/Channel 4 series Kiss Me First. He played the title role in a recent national tour of The Winslow Boy.


Kate Hargreaves plays Jess. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Her theatre credits include News Revue (Canal Café), Hamlet the Musical (international tour) and workshops ofFeatherboy (National Theatre) and The Wall(Complicite).


Zoe Cooper is a playwright and theatre practitioner, based in Newcastle. Jess and Joe Forever won her the Most Promising Playwright Award at the Off West End Awards 2017 and was longlisted for the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award for its production at the Orange Tree Theatre. It then went on a UK Tour, and played at the Traverse during the Edinburgh Festival 2017. 


Lotte Wakeham is the SJT’s Associate Artistic Director. She directed The World Goes Round at the theatre in 2016, Di and Viv and Rose in 2017 and Adventure Playground earlier this summer. She is Associate Director of Matilda for the RSC (Stratford/West End) and was also the Associate Director on Broadway (Shubert Theatre). She trained at Oxford University and the National Theatre Studio.

Lotte’s creative team comprises designer Frankie Bradshaw, who also designed last year’s Di and Viv and Rose; lighting designer Tigger Johnson, who has worked on many productions at the SJTand composer and sound designer Andrew Graham who was recently nominated as Best Sound Designer in the Off West End Awards for The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Jess and Joe Forever can be seen in the McCarthy at the SJT from Thursday 25 October to Saturday 10 November. Tickets, priced from £10, are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at

Earlier Event: October 25
Kiss Me Kate
Later Event: October 26
Cabaret & Open Mic Night