Richard Eyre is a theatre director, writer and former Artistic Director of the National Theatre (a position he held from 1988 to 1997).
He worked for ten years in regional theatre in Leicester, Edinburgh and Nottingham (where he commissioned and directed Trevor Griffiths’s Comedians, which later transferred to London and Broadway), and then became producer of BBC TV’s Play for Today. In London his theatre work as adapter includes his versions of Jennifer Dawson’s novel The Ha Ha, Sartre’s Les Mains Sales, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre and the West End.
He became Artistic Director of the National Theatre in 1988, and has directed numerous productions there, including Guys and Dolls, The Beggar’s Opera, Hamlet, Richard III, King Lear, Night of the Iguana, Sweet Bird of Youth, Racing Demon, Skylight, The Absence of War, Napoli Milionaria, La Grande Magia, White Chameleon, The Prince’s Play, John Gabriel Borkman, The Invention of Love, The Reporter, The Observer, Welcome to Thebes and Liolà.
His other theatre work includes Hamlet, Edmond, The Shawl and Kafka’s Dick at the Royal Court; Amy’s View, The Judas Kiss, Mary Poppins and Private Lives in the West End and on Broadway; The Crucible on Broadway; The Last Cigarette and The Pajama Game at Chichester and the West End; Vincent in Brixton, Quartermaine’s Terms, Betty Blue Eyes, Stephen Ward and Mr Foote’s Other Leg in the West End.
His opera work includes La traviata at the Royal Opera House; Manon Lescaut at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus; Carmen, Werther and Le nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera.
His film and television work includes The Imitation Game, Comedians, Country, The Insurance Man, Tumbledown, Suddenly Last Summer, The Ploughman’s Lunch, Iris, Stage Beauty, Notes on a Scandal, The Other Man, Henry IV Part I and II, The Dresser and Changing Stages, a six-part look at twentieth-century theatre which he wrote and presented.
He has published four books, including National Service, a journal of his time at the National Theatre, which won the Theatre Book Prize, and What Do I Know?, a collection of essays about people, politics and the arts.
He has received many awards for theatre, television and film, was knighted in 1997, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2011.