Theatre Writing Credits
In development; play exploring East of England identity through a family of Norfolk shanty singers; written on Mercury Theatre’s Playwrights Programme 2020; set to be produced at Sheringham Little Theatre in Summer 2023; creative team TBA.
In development; drag cabaret play exploring the impact of the climate crisis on the queer community; supported with funding from Arts Council England and The Peggy Ramsay Foundation; researched & developed at Theatre Deli and Hampstead Theatre in October 2021; set to be produced by Relish Theatre in London in Spring 2023.
In development; storytelling play following the lives of four East Of England teenagers as they became adults; written on Hampstead Theatre's Inspire Programme 2019 with mentoring from Roy Williams; set to be produced in London in Spring 2023; venue and creative team TBA.
In development; play exploring a gay historical love story in Thetford, Norfolk; commissioned by Carnegie Theatre and Magic Floor Theatre Company; set to be produced at Carnegie Theatre in Spring 2023.
In development; play exploring life, love, work and ambitions for 21-30 year old Lutonians; commissioned by Revoluton Arts; produced by 1degreeEast; supported with funding from Arts Council England; set to be produced in Luton Spring 2023.
Time and Tide - East of England Tour 2022
In development; East of England tour of the 2020 production that ran at Park Theatre; play exploring the lives of the staff of a crumbling caff on Cromer Pier; directed by Rob Ellis; co-produced by Relish Theatre and Norwich Theatre; touring East of England theatres September-October 2022.
Boxers and Soxers
In development; short play exploring a young gay couple's first time in real time; produced by Hive North 27th-29th September 2022 at The Lowry as part of OutStageUs 2022.
The Birds And The Bees
Relocation to East Anglia of Mark Crawford's Canadian play 'The Birds And The Bees'; commissioned by New Wolsey Ipswich; co-produced by New Wolsey, Norwich Theatre, Theatre Royal BSE and John Stalker Productions; directed by Pete Rowe; touring the East of England in Spring 2022; set to tour the UK from 2023.
★★★★★ "Razor-sharp steamy and sexually charged comedy" WhatsOnStage
"A gentle piece about love, lust, family and farming. This comedy is as sweet as honey... the cast are the bees knees' The Times
"This is one of the best shows I have seen for a long time and I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up touring the UK" Eastern Daily Press
"The Birds and The Bees showcases everything wonderful about Norfolk and its people" Norfolk Live
"The audience were laughing along from start to end" Ipswich24
Robin Good: The Politico-Panto
Political pantomime commissioned and produced by Norwich Playhouse; directed by Chris Cuming; ran at Norwich Playhouse 8th-19th December 2021.
"A 90 minute romp of wry non-stop gags from the acerbic pen of McDermott, Robin Good is a delightful tongue-in-cheek view of the modern world" Outline Magazine
"A clever storyline by James McDermott... there are plenty of local gags and lots of favourite panto fun. It certainly makes you think about how society is changing and yes, our traditional cultural outlets need to reflect this" Lynn News
"An alternative panto wrapped around a political leadership battle... ninety minutes of politically infused witty satire, local humour and diversity" Grapevine Live
“The success of Robin Good lies in its uniquely queer perspective. Ultimately, it felt that everyone had left the show with something on their mind, something to think about other than just the jokes. I would call that a tremendous success on the writer’s part” The Norwich Radical
In development; play exploring the impact of COVID lock-down on queer people isolating in rural areas with bigoted families; supported with funding from Arts Council England; commissioned by Eastern Angles; directed by Scott Hurran; researched and developed at Sir John Mills Theatre Ipswich in October 2021.
Dark Sky Reserves
A play exploring sleep and dreams written from workshops with New Wolsey's Youth Theatre; commissioned by New Wolsey; produced at New Wolsey August 2021.
A play exploring the ambitions and frustrations of young people in Suffolk; co-written with Atiha Sen Gupta; commissioned by Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds; supported with funding from Arts Council England; produced by Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds in July 2021.
Short play commissioned by Menagerie Theatre Company as part of their Covid Connections project in which 12 playwrights respond to the events of the lockdown; directed by Paul Bourne; produced at Menagerie's Hotbed Festival at Cambridge Junction in July 2021.
Promenade theatre piece fusing live action and technology to explore teenage lives in rural Norfolk; commissioned by St George's Theatre Great Yarmouth; directed by Marcus Romer; supported with funding from Arts Council England; produced at Sheringham Little Theatre and St George's Theatre Great Yarmouth in June 2021; revived at Great Yarmouth's Out There Street Art Festival in September 2021.
Play using live action and VR technology; co-commissioned by Norwich Theatre Royal, Guildhall School Of Acting and UEA for UEA's Future and Form: 50th Anniversary of their Literature, Drama and Creative Writing Department; supported with funding from Arts Council England; streamed as part of Norfolk and Norwich Festival in May 2021.
Community theatre play based on the story of 'David Copperfield'; inspired by life on the Middlegate Estate in Great Yarmouth; commissioned by St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth; supported with funding from Arts Council England; directed by Daisy Winchester; produced at St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth in August 2020.
Time and Tide
Play exploring the lives of the staff of a crumbling caff on Cromer Pier; directed by Rob Ellis; produced at Park Theatre, London 5th-29th February 2020; published by Samuel French; nominated for an Off West End Theatre Award for New Play.
★★★★★ Boyz Magazine, The Gay UK, Pocket Size Theatre, The Review Chap
★★★★ Reviews Hub, Theatre News, London Theatre 1, The Upcoming, Everything Theatre, QX Magazine, Morning Star
"Wonderful. Do not miss" Miriam Margoyles
"Great show. Check it out people" Vinegar Strokes, star of RuPaul's Drag Race UK
"Catch it if you can. So moving, funny, truthful and compelling. Beautifully performed by a wonderful cast of four superb actors" Stephen Fry
Cabaret play exploring fake news and the state-sanctioned anti-gay purges in Chechnya; co-commissioned by Norwich Arts Centre and Norwich Theatre Royal; supported with funding from Arts Council England; performed at venues in the East and Soho Theatre; directed by Lucy Farrant and James McDermott.
Rehearsed reading of a play exploring the lives of the staff of a Sheringham amusement arcade; co-commissioned by HighTide and Eastern Angles; supported with funding from Arts Council England; performed at HighTide Festival Aldeburgh in September 2019; directed by Scott Hurran.
Street theatre exploring what young people in Luton would stand up for today; co-written with Roy Williams & Atiha Sen Gupta; co-commissioned by Luton Arts & Culture and Revoluton Arts as part of their People Power Passion project; performed on the streets of Luton; directed by Marcus Romer and Suzann McLean.
Family street theatre exploring life in Lowestoft; commissioned by Marina Theatre Lowestoft; performed on the streets of Lowestoft; directed by Abbie Moore.
Open Ramble East: Wysing
Text for a queer walking tour about Wysing's queer history helping audiences re-see Wysing through a queer lens; co-commissioned by Ian Giles and originalprojects; supported with funding from Arts Council England; performed on the streets of Wysing; directed by Ian Giles.
Open Ramble East: Colchester
Text for a queer walking tour about Colchester's queer history helping audiences re-see Colchester through a queer lens; co-commissioned by Ian Giles and originalprojects; supported with funding from Arts Council England; performed on the streets of Colchester; directed by Ian Giles.
Short play about music, mix tapes and trans identity; produced at INK Festival at The Cut Halesworth before a two week tour of East Anglia and a three week run at The Tristan Bates Theatre as part of INK's Feast From The East; directed by James Christopher.
The Break Up
Short play exploring how Brexit affects the lives of a mixed nationality gay couple; commissioned by Coast To Coast Theatre Company for their Last Night In Europe Event; produced at Norwich Arts Centre; directed by Charlie Douglas.
Play for young people exploring gendered school uniform; commissioned by Oldham Coliseum as part of their Playwrights Partnership Scheme; produced at Oldham Coliseum over three nights by three different schools; directed by school drama teachers.
Verbatim play exploring homelessness in Norfolk; commissioned by Norwich Theatre Royal; produced at NTR Stage Two; directed by Laila France and Darren France.
Text for an active reality theatre installation; commissioned by Collusion; supported with funding from Arts Council England; performed on the streets of King's Lynn throughout December; directed by Marcus Romer and Simon Poulter.
Rehearsed reading of a play exploring fifty years of gay British history; produced at The Criterion Theatre in London's West End as part of their new writing showcase; directed by Nel Crouch.
Theatre in education play exploring cyber bullying; commissioned by Access Community Trust and Suffolk Police; tour of several Suffolk schools; directed by Lee Johnson.
Text for an outdoor digital theatre installation exploring young people's lives in Bury St Edmunds; commissioned by Collusion and West Suffolk College; supported with funding from Arts Council England; performed on the streets of Bury St Edmunds; directed by Marcus Romer.
Based On A True Story
Theatre in education play exploring diversity and bullying in schools; co-written with Rob Salmon; commissioned by New Wolsey; performed at New Wolsey and toured East Anglian schools; directed by Rob Salmon.
Cinderella: A Museum Adventure
Text for a dance drama piece exploring army life created with Legacy Dance Company, Norwich; commissioned by Matthew Bourne's New Adventures; performed at International War Museum Duxford; directed by Matthew Bourne's New Adventures.
Love Me Tinder
Short play exploring love in the age of dating apps; commissioned by Broken Silence Theatre Company; produced at The Old Red Lion Theatre; directed by Roman Berry.
Short play exploring gay hook ups; starred Jude Law; commissioned by Harts Theatre Company for Lyric Gala 2017; produced at Lyric Hammersmith; directed by Sean Holmes.
Short play exploring bromance; produced at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds; directed by David Whitney.
Come Yew In: The Proud History of Strangers in Norwich
Street theatre exploring the history of immigration in Norwich; co-written with Simon Floyd, Liam Offord & Mags Chalcraft; co-commissioned by The Common Lot and Norfolk County Council; supported with funding from Arts Council England; performed in several Norfolk theatres, parks and estates; directed by Simon Floyd.
Out140: The Little Play of Coming Out Stories
Verbatim play exploring coming out stories in Norfolk; co-written with Shelly Telly and Vince Laws; produced at Norfolk and Norwich Festival; directed by Shelly Telly.
Short play exploring teenage life in Norfolk; produced in The Royal Court's bar as part of The Play List; directed by The Royal Court's Young Agitators.
Short play exploring teenage life in Norfolk; produced at Lyric Hammersmith as part of Hart's Festival New Writing Showcase; directed by Roy Alexander Weise.
Play exploring sexual and regional identity; produced at Pleasance Islington prior to a three year UK tour; directed by Siobhan James Elliot; published by Samuel French.
★★★★★ Boyz Magazine, London City Nights
★★★★ West End Wilma, Auditorium Magazine, LondonTheatre1, Hiive, Camden Review, Scatter of Opinion
Short play exploring bromance; commissioned by HighTide as part of their Writer's Academy; performed at HighTide Festival Aldeburgh; directed by Steven Atkinson.
Site-specific play exploring life on the RSPB Strumpshaw nature reserve; co-written with Steve Waters; co-commissioned by University of East Anglia and RSPB Strumpshaw; produced at RSPB Strumpshaw; directed by Steve Waters.
Half A Person
Play exploring sexual and regional identity; winner of UEA's Minotaur Theatre Company New Writing Competition 2015; produced at UEA Drama Studio; directed by Siobhan James Elliot and Jake Head.
TV Writing Credits
1 x 22 minute - Episode 6384 - broadcast on BBC One on 26th November 2021
James was one of the writers on the EastEnders Writers Shadow Scheme 2021.
Adam and Steve
TV comedy drama in development with Big Talk and Rupert Everett
James was one of the writers on BBC Studios Sketch Comedy Writing Intensive 2021
James was shortlisted for BBC Studios Writers Academy 2020
James was one of the winners of Hat Trick's Your Voice Your Story Competition 2017.
Audio Drama Writing Credits
Audio drama exploring gender identity and the pop music; commissioned and produced by Pier Productions for BBC Radio 4's United Kingdoms; broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 31st January 2022. Listen here.
Audio drama co-commissioned by Menagerie Theatre Company and Cambridge University; produced October 2020.
Short Film Writing Credits
Starring Terry George and Leon Lopez; directed by Leon Lopez; produced by Brown Boy Productions; watch here.
Starring Joe Allen; directed by Myriam Archaki; produced by Danusia Samal; released through The Guardian Online as part of Virtual Collaborators; watch here.
Web Series Writing Credits
5 x 10 minute webisodes; directed and produced by Amy Hendry.
6 x 4 minute webisodes; starring Kane Surry & Elliot Hadley; directed by Leon Lopez; produced and released by Brown Boy Productions; watch here.
Awards and Nominations
Nomination - Norfolk Arts Award for New Writing - 2022
Nomination - Offie (Off West End Theatre Award) for New Play: Time and Tide - 2020
Nomination - Norfolk Arts Award for New Writing - 2019
Nomination - Norfolk Arts Award for The New Diversity Award - 2018
Nomination - Norfolk Arts Award for The People's Choice Award - 2017
Winner - Norfolk Arts Award for Best Large Scale Project for 'Come Yew In' - 2017
Winner - New Wolsey's Pulse Festival Suitcase Prize for 'Rubber Ring' - 2017
Winner - Anglian Voices Playwriting Award for 'Man Hug' - 2017
Winner - Young Harts New Writing Award for 'Steam' - 2017
Winner - HighTide Academy Showcase Award for 'Bro's' - 2016
Winner - UEA Malcolm Bradbury MA in Scriptwriting Bursary - 2015
Winner - UEA Minotaur Theatre's New Writing Competition for 'Half A Person' - 2015
Education & Training
EastEnders Writers Shadow Scheme 2021 @ BBC Studios
BBC Studios Talentworks Sketch Comedy Writing Intensive 2021
Mercury Theatre Playwrights Development Programme 2020 - mentored by Kenny Emson
HighTide First Commissions Scheme 2019 – mentored by Jonathan Harvey
Hampstead Theatre’s Inspire: The Next Playwright Program 2019 – mentored by Roy Williams
Park Theatre’s Script Accelerator Program 2018 @ Park Theatre, London
Hat Trick Productions Your Voice Your Story TV Comedy Writing Initiative @ Hat Trick Productions
Criterion Theatre New Writing Group 2018 @ Criterion Theatre - mentored by Greg Mosse
The Royal Court Writers’ Group 2017 @ Royal Court – mentored by Tom Wells
Papatango Playwriting Program 2017 @ Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds
Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab 2016-2017 @ Soho Theatre, London
BFI East of England Talent Development Scheme 2016 @ The Writers Centre, Norwich
HighTide Theatre Company’s Young Writers Academy 2016 @ HighTide Theatre Company
MA in Scriptwriting (Distinction) @ University of East Anglia (2015-2016)
Winner of The Malcolm Bradbury MA in Scriptwriting Bursary 2015
First Class BA Hons in Scriptwriting & Performance @ University of East Anglia (2012-2015)