Patrons

Mike Alfreds

Mike Alfreds studied drama at the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh in the United States  and is an internationally acclaimed director working  in Canada, Germany, Norway, China, Australia and extensively in Israel.

In the Seventies, he founded the touring company Shared Experience, performing his own adaptations of literary classics on the scale of The Arabian Nights, Bleak House and A Handful Of Dust. His equally acclaimed Chekhov productions led to an associate directorship at the National Theatre in the mid-Eighties, climaxing in a multi-award-winning Cherry Orchard.
He transformed and renamed Cambridge Theatre Company as Method and Madness spending a year working with a cast of four on his own adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, Noel Coward’s Private Lives and a new Philip Osment play, Flesh and Blood.
Mike is also known for his unique way of working with actors, inspired by among others the principles of Stanislavski and Laban. He has conducted workshops with this method in various countries.
He published two successful books on directing and adaptation for the stage –  ‘ Different Every Night’  and ‘ Then what happens’ both published by Nick Hern Books

Mike Attenborough CBE

Was Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre in London between 2002-2013. Previously, he was Associate Director of the Mercury Theatre Colchester 1972-74, the Leeds Playhouse (now West Yorkshire Playhouse) 1974 to 1979, the Young Vic 1979 to 1980, then Artistic Director of the Palace Theatre, Watford, 1980 to 1984, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre 1984 to 1989.
He was Resident Director and Principal Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1990 to 2002. He continues to be an Honorary Associate Artist of the RSC.
In 2012 Attenborough was presented with the Award for Excellence in International Theatre by The International Theatre Institute. In October of that year he announced that he would step down from the Almeida in April 2013 to concentrate on his directing career.
Recently he has directed Macbeth for the Queensland Theatre Company, Brisbane, Australia (March – April 2014), As You Like It for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. (2014), a UK national tour of J. B. Priestley’s Dangerous Corner in 2014, and a new play by Deborah Bruce (Godchild) in October – November 2013 at the Hampstead Theatre. Most recently he directed a new play by Rebecca Gilman (Luna Gale) for the Hampstead Theatre and in September 2015, he directed Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me for the Chichester Festival Theatre.
He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to theatre. He is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Leicester and Sussex, where he is also Honorary Professor of English and Drama. Attenborough was educated at Westminster School and at the University of Sussex.

Dominic Cooke CBE

Dominic Cooke CBE is a director and playwright. He started his own theatre company Pan Optic, which he ran for two years before becoming an assistant director at the RSC in the 1990s. He began as a writer at the Royal Court under Stephen Daldry’s directorship in 1995 and later became an Associate director there for Ian Rickson in 1999. In 2003, he left the Royal Court to become an Associate Director at the RSC working for Michael Boyd.  He was made Artistic Director of the Royal Court in 2006. In 2011, he made his directing debut at the Royal National Theatre with The Comedy of Errors.

Royal Court as Artistic Director: As well as staging some successful revivals, Dominic has also pioneered new writing by promoting the Royal Court’s Young Writers Program. It was during his tenure that the success of Jerusalem, Clybourne Park and Enron were staged and all transferring to the West End.

As a Writer: In 2007, he wrote the stage adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses, which he directed and produced at the RSC. He wrote an adaptation of Arabian Nights for Young Vic in 1998. He directed a revised version of it for the RSC in 2009.

Awards: 2007 Lawrence Olivier Award for best director for his revival of The Crucible (RSC). In 2013 he won the international Theatre Institue Award for Excellence in International Theatre. He was awarded Honorary Doctorate of Letters by University of Warwick in July 2013 and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Years Honours for services to drama.

Most Recent: Dominic is currently completing editing Henry the 6th parts 1, 2 and 3 and Richard III for the BBC’s Hollow Crown series.

Katie Mitchell OBE

Katie Mitchell began her career behind the scenes at the King’s Head Theatre in London before taking on work as an assistant director at theatre companies including Paines Plough and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Early in her career she directed a number of productions under the umbrella of her company Classics On A Shoestring.

In 1997 she became responsible for programming at the Other Place at the RSC. Her productions included The Phoenician Women which won her the Evening Standard Award for Best Director in 1996. She was an associate director at The Royal Court and at the Royal National Theatre and has also worked extensively in Opera.

In 2004 she directed a series of workshops on Stanislavsky and neuroscience at the NT studio and dedicated much time to providing training for emerging directors with Living Pictures. This culminated with the publication of her book on directing titled ‘The Directors Craft.’

Since her 2006 play Waves, she has experimented extensively with film video techniques Her productions have been described as distinguished by the intensity of the emotions, the realism of the acting, and the creation of a very distinctive world. Her frequent collaborators include writer Martin Crimp and designer Vicki Mortimer

She currently works freelance in London, Germany, Austria and France.

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009

Ian Rickson

Ian Rickson is a British theatre and film director. He was the Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre in London from 1998 to 2006,during which time he directed Krapp’s Last Tape, The Winterling, Alice Trilogy, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Fallout, The Night Heron, Boy Gets Girl, Mouth to Mouth (also in the West End), Dublin Carol, The Weir (also in the West End and on Broadway), The Lights, Pale Horse and Mojo (also at the Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago), Ashes & Sand, Some Voices, Killers and Wildfire.

His Broadway credits include the critically acclaimed Royal Court Theatre production of Chekhov’s The Seagull, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Peter Sarsgaard and Mackenzie Crook and Conor McPherson’s The Weir.

Other theatre includes The Hothouse and The Day I Stood Still (National Theatre); Parlour Song (Almeida); Hedda Gabler (Roundabout Theatre, New York), West End productions of The Children’s Hour, Betrayal, Frost/Nixon and Hamlet at the Young Vic.

He directed the internationally acclaimed production of Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth which transferred to Broadway in 2011 at the Music Box Theatre. The play received a Tony Award nomination as ‘Best Play’ and Mark Rylance won the ‘Best Actor’ award.

Films include Fallout and Krapp’s Last Tape.

In 2009 he was made an Honorary Professor for Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Kent‘s School of Arts.