Jo Combes

School of Arts and Media

Image of Jo Combes coming soon

Contact Details

New Adelphi Room 5.02

Please email for an appointment.

Current positions

Academic Fellow in Theatre and Television Drama


After university and drama school, I won a trainee directorship to the Orange Tree Theatre, where I then directed Women of Troy and Alison’s House. I assisted Dominic Cooke at the Royal Court and was subsequently appointed by Marianne Elliott to the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester as Channel Four Young Director. After a traineeship there, I directed Knives in Hens in the Studio and was made Associate Director in 2004.
During my six years as Associate Director at the Royal Exchange, my productions included the 50th anniversary production of A Taste of Honey and a major revival of Roots, when I worked with the late Sir Arnold Wesker. Other productions for the Exchange were The Vortex, Pretend you have Big Buildings, co-directed with Sarah Frankcom, Salt, and Maybe Tomorrow. I also directed and adapted Electra in the studio.
Alongside directing duties at the Exchange, I was also Literary Manager and was responsible for establishing the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting which has since uncovered the next generation of new writing talents.
Following my passion for working with writers took me to the BBC in 2010, where I ran the northern office of the BBC Writersroom for a year before being headhunted to join the BAFTA and Emmy award-winning Lime Pictures as a Development Executive. In 2016 I was made Head of Development at Lime, and then spent two years championing writers, script editing commissions and developing for/pitching to multiple television networks. I joined the team at Salford University in summer 2018


Module Leader for:

  • Introduction to Screenwriting
  • Playwriting
  • Scriptwriting for TV and Film

Teaching on:

  • Acting Methods 1 and 2


  • PRP and Theatre Project

Research Interests

I am currently researching creative therapeutic interventions for university students with anxiety and depression.

Qualifications and Memberships


  • BA/MA Oxford (English)
  • Postgraduate Diploma LAMDA (Theatre Directing)
  • Postgraduate Diploma Salford (Counselling and Psychotherapy)


  • I am a registered psychotherapist MBACP Registered Member 00926996