Gregory Doran

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Gregory Doran (born 24 November 1958)[1] is an English director known for his Shakespearean work. The Sunday Times called him 'one of the great Shakespearians of his generation'.[2]

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.[3]

His notable productions include a production of Macbeth starring Antony Sher, which was filmed for Channel 4 in 2001,[4][5] as well as Hamlet in 2008, starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart.


Doran was born in Huddersfield, but his family moved to Lancashire when he was six months old.[6] He was educated at St Pius X Catholic Preparatory School and Preston Catholic College.[7] 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[8] and an Honorary Degree from the University of Warwick in July 2013.[9]


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.

He directed his first RSC production in 1992,[10] commissioning Derek Walcott to write an adaptation of Homer's Odyssey which was performed at The Other Place.

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!

He returned to the RSC in 1996, becoming an Associate Director, and directing Jane Lapotaire, Ian Hogg and Paul Jesson in All is True (or Henry VIII), his first Shakespeare for the company.

Since then, Doran has directed over half the canon of Shakespeare's plays for the RSC.

  • Doran directed David Tennant in the title role of Richard II at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Barbican.

Non-RSC productions[edit]

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.


In 2009, Doran's Shakespeare Almanac was published.[17][18]

Personal life[edit]

He and frequent collaborator Sir Antony Sher have been together since 1987, and entered into a civil partnership in 2005.[19] They married 10 years after their civil partnership on 30 December 2015.


  1. ^ "RSC director Greg Doran's Preston drama days". Preston Playhouse web site. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  2. ^ "The Shakespeare Almanac". Amazon author information (Times website inaccessible). Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Interview with Gregory Doran". The Royal Shakespeare Company website. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Who's Who in British Theatre: Gregory Doran". The Guardian. London. 6 July 2002. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  5. ^ Macbeth on IMDb
  6. ^ "Theatrical story of awards trio". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Othello: The Director". Royal Shakespeare Company web site. Archived from the original on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  8. ^ "Honorary Graduates 2011". University of Bristol web site. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Warwick honorary degrees for stars of Gavin & Stacey & Hustle, RSC & Royal Court Artistic Directors, scientists, historians, philanthropist & a US government adviser".
  10. ^ a b "Stratfordians". Archived from the original on 18 September 2004. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  11. ^ Taylor, Paul (25 August 1999). "First night Timon teams with a wealth of ideas". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Olivier Winners 2003". Official London Theatre Guide website. 25 April 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  13. ^ "Review: The Taming of the Shrew / The Tamer Tamed – Michael Billington". Guardian. London. 11 April 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  14. ^ "Review: All's Well That Ends Well – Alastair Macaulay". Financial Times. 2003. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  15. ^ "Review: Othello – Rhoda Koenig". The Independent. London. 2004. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  16. ^ "About the play - The Tempest - Royal Shakespeare Company".
  17. ^ "Ten things you didn't know about Shakespeare". The Sunday Times (website only accessible to subscribers). 9 October 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  18. ^ "In the paper". The Stage. 29 October 2009. Archived from the original on 13 April 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  19. ^ "The art of darkness". The Times. 30 August 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2011.

External links[edit]