Theatre Director and Producer
Michael Grandage is the Artistic Director of the Michael Grandage Company, a London based production company set up in 2012 by Grandage and James Bierman to produce work in theatre, film and television.
He was the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse from 2002 to 2012 and the Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres from 2000 to 2005.
His work has won Tony, Drama Desk, Olivier, Evening Standard, Critics' Circle and South Bank Awards.
He has also been awarded Honorary Doctorates by both Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University. He was the recipient of the 2006 Award for Excellence in International Theatre. He is President of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and a visiting professor at the University College Falmouth. He was appointed CBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to Drama.
Michael was born in Yorkshire and raised in Cornwall where his parents ran a family business. He was educated at the Humphry Davy Grammar School in Penzance before going on to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London between 1981 and 1984. He worked for twelve years as a professional actor before directing a production of Arthur Miller's THE LAST YANKEE at Colchester in 1995 which marked the start of his directing career.
His partner is the award-winning British Theatre designer, Christopher Oram.
Following his work in Colchester, Michael was invited to become an Associate Director of Sheffield Theatres. In 1998, when Deborah Paige left, he took on the role of Artistic Director between 1999 and 2005. His policy was to invite younger directors and designers to work on the Crucible stage and he produced over 40 productions including 11 new plays. He also directed a number of high profile productions of his own such as RICHARD III with Kenneth Brannagh, EDWARD II with Joseph Fiennes, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER with Diana Rigg and Victoria Hamilton, and THE TEMPEST and DON CARLOS with Derek Jacobi. Many productions toured the UK and transferred to London. The Crucible was awarded Theatrical Management Association (TMA) theatre of the Year in 2001.
Following a period as Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse in London he succeeded Sam Mendes in 2002. For two years (2002-2005), he was Artistic Director of both organisations producing a body of work in London and Sheffield. At the Donmar, he expanded the theatre's repertoire to include European work, touring work, an extensive education programme and gave the theatre an international profile. He also took the new Donmar brand into the West End starting with a co-production of GUYS AND DOLLS at the Piccadilly Theatre followed by a number of transfers and most significantly, a year's work at the Wyndham's theatre in 2008-2009 where he produced four classic plays at affordable prices with Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Brannagh, Jude law and Judi Dench. Michael also brought the Donmar's work to Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Madrid and all over America including New York and L.A. He produced six plays a year at the Donmar's home base where the repertoire included a mixture of new plays, musicals, American and British drama from the twentieth century and European work in new versions. In 2010, he announced a three-year residency at Trafalgar Studios to highlight the work of young directors who have emerged from the Donmar's training programme.
In 2008, Michael announced that the Donmar organisation had secured the purchase of the Donmar Theatre site on Earlham Street. In 2011, he announced the Donmar had also secured the purchase of their own offices, rehearsal studio and Education space in Dryden Street, Covent Garden. Both of these acquisitions were achieved through the income generated from Donmar productions in the West End, Broadway, and abroad.
Michael's work in Musical Theatre has included MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at the Donmar which won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, GRAND HOTEL at the Donmar which won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production, and GUYS AND DOLLS at the Piccadilly Theatre which ran for two years and won the Olivier Award for Outstanding musical Production.
In addition to London and Sheffield, Michael's work has been seen extensively on tour in the U.K. and in the U.S. and his productions have also played in Denmark and Australia. He has transferred three of his own Donmar productions to Broadway, FROST/NIXON (Tony Nomination for Best Director), HAMLET with Jude Law, and RED (Tony Award for Best Director). His work in America was produced by Arielle Tepper Madover who continues to support the work of the Donmar in London.
Michael has worked with a number of writers, actors and designers on more than one occasion but he regularly works with a core group of key collaborators on most of his productions: the designer Christopher Oram, the composer Adam Cork and the Lighting designers Neil Austin and Paule Constable. The Donmar's 2010 production of RED by John Logan saw Grandage, Oram, Austin and Cork all recognised with Tony's for their work together following a sell-out run of RED on Broadway. The production was remounted at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 2012 with Jonathan Groff joining Alfred Molina in the company.
Michael has also directed four operas. In 2010 he made his debut with BILLY BUDD at Glyndebourne and returned there in 2012 to direct LE NOZZE DI FIGARO. In America, he has directed DON GIOVANNI at the Met and MADAMA BUTTERFLY at Houston.
Other work has included a National Theatre debut in 2011 with DANTON'S DEATH and in 2012 a return to Broadway to direct a new production of EVITA starring Ricky Martin, Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris. This was a re-staging of his critically acclaimed 2006 production in London's West End.
His new company, the Michael Grandage Company, recently produced a season of five plays in the West End running from December 2012 to February 2014. The whole season was designed to reach out to a new generation of theatregoers with over 100,000 tickets at £10 and the creation of a new company called MGCFutures (click here for more information about MGCFutures). The plays that were presented were PRIVATES ON PARADE by Peter Nichols, PETER AND ALICE, a new play by John Logan with Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw, THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN by Martin McDonagh with Daniel Radcliffe, Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and Jude Law in HENRY V. Click here for more information about MGC.
Press articles relating to Michael Grandage
WORKS DIRECTED 1996 - 2014
WORKS PRODUCED AT SHEFFIELD THEATRES
AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR 1999 - 2005
WORK PRODUCED AT THE DONMAR WAREHOUSE
AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR 2002 - 2011
Michael Grandage Company
Fourth Floor, Gielgud Theatre
London W1D 6AR Tel: 020 3582 7210
Creative Artists Agency [CAA]
162 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10010
T: (001) 212 277 9000
Contact: Brian Siberell (LA) and Joe Machota (NYC)
Photo credit: Michael Grandage by Hugo Glendinning, London, 2006