Doran is currently Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), succeeding Michael Boyd in September 2012. In an interview, announcing his appointment, Doran said that whilst Boyd had concentrated on the 'Company', he would be concentrating on the 'Shakespeare' in the Royal Shakespeare Company logo.
Doran was born in Huddersfield, but his family moved to Lancashire when he was six months old. He was educated at St Pius X Catholic Preparatory School and Preston Catholic College. He attended Bristol University studying English and Drama, where he set up his own theatre company with fellow student Chris Grady, presenting Shakespeare and related classics. He then trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He received an honorary doctorate from Bristol University in July 2011 and an Honorary Degree from the University of Warwick in July 2013.
Doran left the Bristol Old Vic School early having been invited to direct A Midsummer Night's Dream at Jamestown Community College in upstate New York. He then went to Nottingham Playhouse as an actor, before becoming Assistant Director then Associate Director, directing his own productions including Waiting for Godot, and Long Day's Journey into Night.
After a very brief acting career in TV, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1987 initially as an actor (as Solanio in The Merchant of Venice and Octavius Caesar in Julius Caesar) then became Assistant Director the following season.
In 1995 he directed his partner Antony Sher as Titus Andronicus at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa. This controversial production, which toured to the National Theatre, is the subject of their book, Woza Shakespeare!
Since then, Doran has directed over half the canon of Shakespeare's plays for the RSC.
- Much Ado About Nothing with Harriet Walter and Nicholas le Prevost
- Doran supervised a season of seldom-performed Jacobean plays, including the debatedly Shakespearean Edward III and works by Philip Massinger, John Fletcher, Ben Jonson, John Marston and George Chapman which earned Doran a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement of the Year
- The Taming of the Shrew
- Fletcher's sequel, The Tamer Tamed with Alexandra Gilbreath and Jasper Britton
- All's Well That Ends Well took Judi Dench back to the RSC after 25 years
- Antony and Cleopatra with Harriet Walter, and Patrick Stewart who both returned to the RSC after 24 years
- Merry Wives The Musical, with Dame Judi Dench and Simon Callow
- Coriolanus with Will Houston, Janet Suzman and Timothy West which toured to Madrid and Washington DC (the final production in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre before it closed for redevelopment, re-opening in winter 2010/11)
- Doran directed a company in three plays in the Courtyard Theatre including a revival of his 2005 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, plus Love's Labour's Lost and Hamlet which both featured David Tennant
- Film adaptation of award-winning production of Hamlet was broadcast on BBC on Boxing Day.
- Written on the Heart, a play by David Edgar, to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible.
- Directed Julius Caesar for the World Shakespeare Festival, which played in Stratford-upon-Avon, London, Moscow, New York and Ohio. For Winter 2012 he directed The Orphan of Zhao (Swan Theatre).
- Doran directed David Tennant in the title role of Richard II at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Barbican.
- Directed Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The production toured the UK, played at the Barbican, London and was screened live in cinemas.
- Directed The Witch of Edmonton in the Swan Theatre with Eileen Atkins in the title role.
- Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman with Antony Sher in the role of Willy Loman, Alex Hassell as Biff and Harriet Walter as Linda Loman.
- Shakespeare's Henry V
- Directed a puppet-based performance of Venus & Adonis
- Directed Imperium: Conspirator and Imperium: Dictator, based on the Cicero trilogy by Robert Harris
Doran has directed various productions outside the RSC including:
- The York Mystery Plays in the Millennium production in York Minster, 2000
- The Real Inspector Hound and Black Comedy, 1998, Comedy Theatre, London
- Mahler's Conversion by Ronald Harwood, Aldwych Theatre, London
- The Giant by Antony Sher, Hampstead Theatre, London
- Anjin: the English Samurai by Mike Poulton
- The Merchant of Venice, Galaxy Theatre, Tokyo
Doran contributed to Michael Wood's BBC series In Search of Shakespeare, and filmed a documentary for BBC Four called A Midsummer Night's Dreaming.
- "RSC director Greg Doran's Preston drama days". Preston Playhouse web site. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
- "The Shakespeare Almanac". Amazon author information (Times website inaccessible). Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Interview with Gregory Doran". The Royal Shakespeare Company website. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "Who's Who in British Theatre: Gregory Doran". The Guardian. London. 6 July 2002. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
- Macbeth on IMDb
- "Theatrical story of awards trio". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
- "Othello: The Director". Royal Shakespeare Company web site. Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
- "Honorary Graduates 2011". University of Bristol web site. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "Warwick honorary degrees for stars of Gavin & Stacey & Hustle, RSC & Royal Court Artistic Directors, scientists, historians, philanthropist & a US government adviser". www2.warwick.ac.uk.
- "Stratfordians". Archived from the original on 18 September 2004. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- Taylor, Paul (25 August 1999). "First night Timon teams with a wealth of ideas". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "Olivier Winners 2003". Official London Theatre Guide website. 25 April 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
- "Review: The Taming of the Shrew / The Tamer Tamed – Michael Billington". Guardian. London. 11 April 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "Review: All's Well That Ends Well – Alastair Macaulay". Financial Times. 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "Review: Othello – Rhoda Koenig". The Independent. London. 2004. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "About the play - The Tempest - Royal Shakespeare Company". www.rsc.org.uk.
- "Ten things you didn't know about Shakespeare". The Sunday Times (website only accessible to subscribers). 9 October 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "In the paper". The Stage. 29 October 2009. Archived from the original on 13 April 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "The art of darkness". The Times. 30 August 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2011.