Michael John 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, 1974 – 79, the Young Vic 1979 – 80. He was then appointed Artistic Director of the Palace Theatre, Watford, 1980 – 84, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre 1984 – 89; and Principal Associate Director and Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, 1990 to 2002. He continues to be an Honorary Associate Artist of the Company.
In April 2013 he announced that, after 12 years as Artistic Director, he would step down from the Almeida to concentrate on his freelance career. He has directed Macbeth for the Queensland Theatre Company, Brisbane, Australia; As You Like It for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C; a UK national tour of J.B. Priestley’s Dangerous Corner; a new play by Deborah Bruce, Godchild, at the Hampstead Theatre; followed by another new play, Luna Gale, again at Hampstead by Rebecca Gilman. He then directed Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me for the Chichester Festival Theatre, and returned to Hampstead to direct the UK premiere of Neil LaBute’s Reasons To Be Happy.
His freelance work also includes productions for the National Theatre, the Royal Court and the Tricycle; and abroad in Dublin, and Toronto, and twice on Broadway. His work has resulted in a number of awards and West End transfers, culminating in the prestigious Award for Excellence from the International Theatre Institute and the CBE for services to the theatre.
He is the recipient of Honorary Degrees from the Universities of Leicester, where he is an Honorary Distinguished Fellow, and Sussex, where he is Honorary Professor of English and Drama. He is a Trustee of the Belarus Free Theatre and of the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, an Associate Artist of the Arts Educational School and Director Emeritus of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
We are very grateful to Michael for his ongoing support as a patron and practicing artist in residence. Words from Michael below:
“Artists in Residence offers a whole range of distinguished artists a unique and thrilling opportunity to connect directly with young people and to inspire them to express their own creativity. To help them gain a sense of identity, self-esteem and the confidence and the ability to communicate. To distill a crucial sense of emotional, psychological and mental well-being.
I am hugely proud to be their Patron.”
Michael Attenborough CBE. D Litt.