Topper, Jenny

Jenny Topper is a London-based independent theatre producer, best known as managing director of the Bush Theatre (1977-1988) and of the Hampstead Theatre (1988-2003). As director of the Bush Theatre, she set up the Literary Department and supported the first full-length plays of writers such as Kevin Elyot or Terry Johnson. Tom Kempinski’s bio-play Duet for One, based on the life of cellist Jacqueline du Pré and her husband, conductor Daniel Barenboim, premiered at the Bush (1980) and went on to enjoy worldwide success in the West End, on Broadway, in cinemas and on television.

In 1988, she was the first woman to become artistic director of the Hampstead Theatre. Furthermore, she supervised the creation of its new building, the first new stand-alone producing theatre to be built in London since the National Theatre opened in 1976. Under her successful direction, Hampstead Theatre produced 126 plays, of which 90 were premieres. 21 productions have transferred to the West End, 18 have toured the country and two have transferred to Broadway.