MIKE KENNY is one of the UK’s leading writers specialising in young people’s theatre. He was included in the Independent on Sunday’s list of Top Ten Living Playwrights and his plays are performed regularly throughout the UK and all over the world. In 2000, he was Arts Council England’s first recipient of The Children’s Award for Playwriting for Children and Young People.
His Olivier Award-winning adaptation of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN for York Theatre Royal has had several successful revivals at Waterloo and Kings Cross stations, as well as at the National Railway Museum. In Canada it won the People’s Choice Award following its record-breaking run in Toronto. Mike also won the Writers Guild Award for Best Play for Younger Audiences with THREE WISE MONKEYS, the Deutscher Kindertheaterpreis with ELECTRIC DARKNESS, and a Royal Philharmonic Society Award with his libretto for CALDERLAND – A PEOPLE’S OPERA produced by 509 Arts. In July 2013, Mike was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Nottingham.
His plays encompass a broad range, including traditional tales reimagined with a modern twist, original plays for a wide range of audiences, and adaptations of classic and contemporary fiction. Mike’s recent productions include an adaptation of Jeff Brown’s FLAT STANLEY for Engine House Theatre; UNDERNEATH A
MAGICAL MOON for tutti frutti; RANDOM SELFIES for Ovalhouse; SCHEHERAZADE at the National Theatre of Greece; THIS IS NOT FOR YOU, an epic open air piece about wounded war veterans with Graeae Theatre, part of the 14-18 Now arts programme; JIMMY AND HIS SISTERS for La Compagnie de Louise in France; THE MESSENGER for Barnstorm Theatre in Ireland; and a co-adaptation with Satinder Chohan of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS for Octagon Theatre, Bolton. For Christmas 2021, he worked with composer John Biddle to co-write songs for a music version of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN at Hull Truck Theatre.
For teens and older audiences, his adaptations of Homer’s THE ODYSSEY and Siobhan Dowd’s novel SOLACE OF THE ROAD had their premieres at Derby Theatre, and he has also adapted Giancarlo Gemin’s COW GIRL and Jeannie Waudby’s critically-acclaimed ONE OF US, both of which are published by Oxford University Press.
Upcoming productions and commissions include the book for a musical version of Ted Hughes’ THE IRON WOMAN; an adaptation of one of C.J. Sansome’s Shardlake novels for York Theatre Royal; a companion piece to his classic play BOY WITH A SUITCASE for Schauburg Theatre in Munich; and RAPUNZEL ALONE for 24th Street Theatre in Los Angeles following their critically acclaimed production of Mike's WALKING THE TIGHTROPE which the L.A. Times called “an indelible must-see for all ages”.