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Famous Theatre Directors from England

Updated October 13, 2018 6.2k views54 items

List of notable or famous theatre directors from England, with bios and photos, including the top theatre directors born in England and even some popular theatre directors who immigrated to England. If you're trying to find out the names of famous English theatre directors then this list is the perfect resource for you. These theatre directors are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known theatre director from England is included when available.

People include everything from Alan Rickman to Sam Mendes.

This historic theatre directors from England list can help answer the questions "Who are some English theatre directors of note?" and "Who are the most famous theatre directors from England?" These prominent theatre directors of England may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected English theatre directors.

Use this list of renowned English theatre directors to discover some new theatre directors that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
  • 1

    BirthplaceChichester, United Kingdom


    Adrian Keith Noble (born 19 July 1950) is a theatre director, and was also the artistic director and chief executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1990 to 2003....  more
  • 2

    BirthplaceHampstead, London, United Kingdom


    Sir Alan Ayckbourn (born 12 April 1939) is a prolific British playwright and director. He has written and produced more than seventy full-length plays in Scarborough and London and was, between 1972...  more
  • 3

    BirthplaceHammersmith, London, United Kingdom


    Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman (21 February 1946 – 14 January 2016) was an English actor and director. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and became a member of the Royal...  more

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  • 4

    BirthplaceKensington, London, United Kingdom


    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber (born 22 March 1948) is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and...  more

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  • 5

    BirthplaceTiverton, Devon, England, UK


    Alternative NameAntony Holland

    Antony Holland (28 March 1920 – 29 July 2015) was an English actor, playwright and theatre director who until his death in 2015 lived on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada....  more
  • 6

    BirthplaceMorley, United Kingdom


    Brian Bedford (16 February 1935 – 13 January 2016) was an English actor. He appeared on the stage and in film, and is known for both acting in and directing Shakespeare productions. He received seven...  more
  • 7

    BirthplaceEdmonton, London, London, England


    Christopher Robbie (born 30 May 1938) is a British actor, television announcer, theatre director and designer, playwright and photographer. He trained as an actor at RADA in London, and has had a...  more
  • 8

    BirthplaceLeicester, United Kingdom


    David Leveaux (born 13 December 1957) is a British theatre director who has been nominated for five Tony Awards as director of both plays and musicals. He directs both in the UK, working at the Royal...  more
  • 9

    BirthplaceManchester, United Kingdom


    Declan Michael Martin Donnellan (born 4 August 1953) is an English film/stage director and author. He co-founded the Cheek by Jowl theatre company with Nick Ormerod in 1981. In addition to his Cheek...  more
  • 10

    Di Trevis

    Age: 72

    BirthplaceBirmingham, United Kingdom


    Diane "Di" Trevis (born 8 November 1947) is an English theatre director and actress. ...  more
  • 11

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom


    Larrikin Love were an English four piece indie rock band from London. Consisting of Edward "Larrikin" Leeson (vocals), Micko Larkin (guitar), Alfie Ambrose (bass) and Coz Kerrigan (drums), and also...  more
  • 12

    Estelle Winwood

    Dec. at 101 (1883-1984)

    BirthplaceLee, London


    Estelle Winwood (born Estelle Ruth Goodwin, 24 January 1883 – 20 June 1984) was an English stage and film actress who moved to the United States in mid-career and became celebrated for her wit and...  more
  • 13

    Eva Le Gallienne

    Dec. at 92 (1899-1991)

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom


    Eva Le Gallienne (January 11, 1899 – June 3, 1991) was a British-born American stage actress, producer, director, translator, and author. A Broadway star by age 21, Le Gallienne consciously ended her...  more
  • 14

    Fanny Fitzwilliam

    Dec. at 53 (1801-1854)


    Frances "Fanny" Elizabeth Fitzwilliam (née Copeland) (26 July 1801 – 11 September 1854) was a British actor....  more
  • 15

    BirthplaceBradford, United Kingdom


    George Layton (born George Lowy on 2 March 1943 in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire) is an English actor, director, screenwriter and author. He was born to a family of Czechoslovak and Jewish...  more
  • 16

    BirthplaceBromley, United Kingdom


    Dame Gillian Barbara Lynne, (née Pyrke; 20 February 1926 – 1 July 2018) was an English ballerina, dancer, choreographer, actress, and theatre-television director, noted for her theatre choreography...  more
  • 17

    Harold Pinter

    Dec. at 78 (1930-2008)

    BirthplaceMetropolitan Borough of Hackney


    Harold Pinter (; 10 October 1930 – 24 December 2008) was a British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. A Nobel Prize winner, Pinter was one of the most influential modern British...  more

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  • 18

    BirthplaceHolborn, United Kingdom


    Henry Woolf, (born 20 January 1930 in Holborn, London) is a British actor, theatre director and teacher of acting, drama and theatre who lives in Canada. He was a longtime friend and collaborator of...  more
  • 19

    James Whale

    Dec. at 68 (1889-1957)

    BirthplaceDudley, United Kingdom


    James Whale (22 July 1889 – 29 May 1957) was an English film director, theater director and actor, who spent the greater part of his career in Hollywood. He is best remembered for several horror...  more

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  • 20

    John Dexter

    Dec. at 65 (1925-1990)

    BirthplaceDerby, United Kingdom


    John Dexter (2 August 1925 – 23 March 1990) was an English theatre, opera and film director....  more
  • 21

    John Gielgud

    Dec. at 96 (1904-2000)

    BirthplaceEngland, London


    Alternative NameJohn Gielgud

    Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH ( 14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000) was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one...  more

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  • 22

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom


    Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller, CBE (born 21 July 1934) is an English theatre and opera director, actor, author, television presenter, humourist, and medical doctor. After training in medicine, and...  more
  • 23

    BirthplaceEnfield Town, London, United Kingdom


    Julia Kathleen Nancy McKenzie, (born 17 February 1941) is an English actress, singer, presenter, and theatre director widely regarded as one of the finest and most distinguished artists of the past...  more
  • 24

    Katherine Hare

    Age: 42

    BirthplaceCambridge, United Kingdom


    Katherine Elizabeth Hare (born 15 April 1978) was an English theatre director....  more
  • 25

    BirthplaceHermitage, United Kingdom


    Katrina Jane Mitchell (born 23 September 1964) is an English theatre director....  more