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Famous Theatre Directors from England

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Updated October 13, 2018 4.4k views 54 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. (54 items)
1
Adrian Noble is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 68

Birthplace: Chichester, 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.
2
Alan Ayckbourn is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 79

Birthplace: Hampstead, 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 ...more
3
Alan Rickman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 73

Birthplace: Hammersmith, 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 ...more

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4
Andrew Lloyd Webber is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 70

Birthplace: Kensington, 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 ...more

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5
Antony Holland is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 98

Birthplace: Tiverton, Devon, United Kingdom

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.
6
Brian Bedford is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 84

Birthplace: Morley, 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 ...more
7
Christopher Robbie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 80

Birthplace: Edmonton, 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 ...more
8
David Leveaux is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 61

Birthplace: Leicester, 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 ...more
9
Declan Donnellan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 65

Birthplace: Manchester, 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 ...more
10
Di Trevis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 71

Birthplace: Birmingham, United Kingdom

Diane "Di" Trevis (born 8 November 1947) is an English theatre director and actress.
11
Edward Larrikin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 32

Birthplace: London, 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 ...more
12
Estelle Winwood is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Dec. at 101 (1883-1984)

Birthplace: Lee, 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 ...more
13
Eva Le Gallienne is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Dec. at 92 (1899-1991)

Birthplace: England, London

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 ...more
14
Fanny Fitzwilliam is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Dec. at 53 (1801-1854)
Frances "Fanny" Elizabeth Fitzwilliam (née Copeland) (26 July 1801 – 11 September 1854) was a British actor.
15
George Layton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 76

Birthplace: Bradford, 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
Gillian Lynne is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 93

Birthplace: Bromley, England

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 ...more
17
Harold Pinter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Dec. at 78 (1930-2008)

Birthplace: Metropolitan 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
Henry Woolf is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 89

Birthplace: 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 ...more
19
James Whale is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Dec. at 68 (1889-1957)

Birthplace: Dudley, 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 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Dec. at 65 (1925-1990)

Birthplace: East Midlands, Derby, Eurasia, Derbyshire, United Kingdom, + more

John Dexter (2 August 1925 – 23 March 1990) was an English theatre, opera and film director.
21
John Gielgud is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Dec. at 96 (1904-2000)

Birthplace: Eurasia, South Kensington, United Kingdom, London, England

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 ...more

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22
Jonathan Miller is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 84

Birthplace: London, England

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
Julia McKenzie is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 78

Birthplace: England, London

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 ...more
24
Katherine Hare is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Katherine Hare Age: 40

Birthplace: Cambridge, United Kingdom

Katherine Elizabeth Hare (born 15 April 1978) was an English theatre director.
25
Katie Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Theatre Directors from England
Age: 54

Birthplace: Hermitage, United Kingdom

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