Following a career at The Sunday Times, Jenny Topper's first job in theatre was as the Administrator of the touring company, LUMIERE & SON. Whilst on tour with them she was fortunate enough to be offered the post of Theatre Programmer and Festival Organiser for the Rotterdam Arts Centre, DE LANTAREN
On her return to England she was awarded an Arts Council bursary which she spent at various theatres including the Northcott Theatre, Exeter, the Unicorn Theatre for Young People and the Bush Theatre. Asked in 1977 to stay on at the BUSH THEATRE as a Director, she remained there for eleven years, setting up the Theatre's first Literary Department & introducing many of the systems still in use today.; The following writers received the world premieres of their first full length plays during this time: Mark Brennan, Paul Copley, Stephen Davis, Kevin Elyot, Jonathan Falla, Lucy Gannon, Jonathan Gems, Peter Gibbs, Dusty Hughes, Jacqueline Holborough, Terry Johnson, Julia Kearsley, Sharman Macdonald, Daniel Mornin, and Billy Roche. In addition writers, including John Byrne, Robert Holman, Doug Lucie, Brian Thompson, Peter Tinniswood and Snoo Wilson, enjoyed notable successes. Tom Kempinsk's DUET FOR ONE went on to enjoy world wide success in the West End, on Broadway, as a film and as a film for television.
In 1988 she became HAMPSTEAD THEATRE's first woman Artistic Director, a position she held for fifteen years. During her time there she produced one hundred and twenty-six plays. Ninety of these were premieres, forty-one enjoyed transfers to the West End, to Broadway or toured the country and thirty-four had further lives in television, film, in the regions and across the world; In the same time, fifty-five awards were made to writers and performers whose work was seen on the Hampstead Theatre stage. Some of the successes produced during this time:
SMELLING A RAT with Mike Leigh and starring Timothy Spall
VALUED FRIENDS with Martin Clunes, and Jane Horrocks
BURN THIS with John Malkovich
MAKING IT BETTER with Rufus Sewell and Jane Asher
THE FASTEST CLOCK IN THE UNIVERSE by Philip Ridley
SOMEONE WHO'LL WATCH OVER ME by Frank McGuinness
GRACE by Doug Lucie and with Anna Massey
MARVIN'S ROOM with Alison Steadman
DEAD FUNNY by Terry Johnson and with Zoe Wanamake, David Haig and Niall Buggy
SLAVS! by Tony Kushner
SWEET PANIC by Stephen Poliakoff and with Harriet Walter
SOME SUNNY DAY by Martin Sherman and with Rupert Everett and Corin Redgrave
THE MEMORY OF WATER by Shelagh Stephenson
GIVE ME YOUR ANSWER, DO! by Brian Friel,
LITTLE MALCOLM & HIS STRUGGLE AGAINST THE EUNUCHS with Ewan McGregor
PEGGY FOR YOU by Alan Plater and with Maureen Lipman
DINNER WITH FRIENDS by Donald Margulies with Samantha Bond
THE LUCKY ONES by Charlotte Eilenberg
ABIGAIL'S PARTY - a silver jubilee production of Hampstead Theatre's most famous play and the final play in the Company's old building
During this time an Arts For Everyone Award made it possible for the Education and Community work of the Theatre to expand and flourish and the Education Department, not only highly regarded by Camden Council and the local schools but across London, now occupies a central position in the Theatre’s work. The new theatre, much admired by theatre practitioners & by architects, opened in February 2003 and in the Autumn of that year Jenny left to pursue an independent career as a producer. Since then Jenny has produced THE GOAT by Edward Albee, with Jonathan Pryce and WHOSE AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF by Edward Albee, with Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin.
In 2007 she produced MARTHA, JOSIE & THE CHINESE ELVIS by Charlotte Jones, starring Maureen Lipman and also the stage adaptation of TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.