Declan Donnellan

Declan Donnellan

Declan Donnellan is an internationally acclaimed theatre director, co-founder and joint Artistic Director of Cheek by Jowl, and author of The Actor and the Target (Nick Hern Books, 2002) and The Actor and the Space (Nick Hern Books, 2024).

Born of Irish parents, Donnellan grew up in London, and formed Cheek by Jowl with his partner Nick Ormerod in 1981. A focus on the actor's art has always been central to the company's work. Cheek by Jowl now performs in several languages with companies of actors in Spain, Italy, France, Russia, Romania and Bulgaria.

Donnellan's work has been seen across the Globe including his iconic As You Like It, Ubu Roi and Boris Godunov.

As Associate Director of the National Theatre, his productions included Fuenteovejuna, Sweeney Todd and the British premiere of both parts of Angels in America.

He has staged work for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Bouffes Du Nord and the Avignon Festival.

Opera includes Falstaff at the Salzburg Festival and ballet, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet for the Bolshoi. With Nick Ormerod he co-directed the feature film of Bel Ami.

His first book, The Actor and the Target, was first published in Russia in 2002 – before being published in Britain and the United States, and translated into fourteen foreign languages. The Actor and the Space followed in 2024.

He has been invited to teach and give workshops in many countries, and has received awards in Moscow, Paris, London and New York. He is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2016 for his work on the art of acting was given the Golden Lion of Venice.

(Author photo by Cristi Floriganță)