Declan Donnellan

Declan Donnellan (born 4 August 1953)[1] is an English film/stage director and author. He co-founded the Cheek by Jowl theatre company with Nick Ormerod in 1981. In 1992, he received an honorary degree from the University of Warwick and in 2004 he was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his work in France.[2] In 2010, he was made an honorary fellow of Goldsmiths' College, University of London.[3]


Donnellan[4] was born in Manchester and grew up in Ealing, London. He was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing and Queens' College, Cambridge, where he read English and Law. After leaving Cambridge, he was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 1978.

He founded Cheek by Jowl with Nick Ormerod in 1981.[5] Since 2006 the company has been part of the Barbican's International Theatre Program (BITE) resulting in co-productions of The Changeling (2006), Cymbeline (2007) and Troilus and Cressida (2008).[5][6][7]

For the Royal Shakespeare Company he has directed The School for Scandal, King Lear (Academy 2002) and Great Expectations. He has also directed Le Cid for the Avignon Festival, Falstaff for the Salzburg Festival and the ballet of Romeo and Juliet for the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Other work in Russia includes The Winter's Tale for the Maly Drama Theatre of Saint Petersburg.[8]

In 2000 he formed a company of actors in Moscow, under the auspices of The Chekhov Festival, whose productions include Boris Godunov, Twelfth Night and Three Sisters. He wrote a play, Lady Betty, which was performed by Cheek by Jowl in 1989. He has also adapted Don't Fool with Love by Alfred de Musset, Antigone by Sophocles, The Mandate by Nikolai Erdman and Masquerade by Mikhail Lermontov. First published in Russian in 2001, Donnellan's book, The Actor and the Target, was published in English in 2002 (reprinted 2005), as well as French, Spanish and Danish.[9]

He directed the 2012 film Bel Ami, an adaption of the Maupassant novel; the film starred Uma Thurman and Christina Ricci.[10]

Donnellan has won awards in London, Paris, New York and Moscow, including Laurence Olivier Awards for:

Stage productions

Cheek by Jowl



See also


  1. "Declan Donnellan biography". 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2008.
  2. Declan Donnellan at Cheek by Jowl
  3. Honorary Fellows of Goldsmiths' College, accessed 20 September 2013.
  4. Civil registration event: Birth
    Name: DONNELLAN, Michael D M
    Registration district: Manchester
    County: Lancashire
    Year of registration: 1953
    Quarter of registration: Jul–Aug–Sep
    Volume no: 10E
    Page no: 205
  5. 1 2 "As he likes it", profile of Donnellan by Michael Coveney, The Guardian, 4 February 2006
  6. Cymbeline, review by Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide, 2007
  7. Review of Troilus and Cressida by Michael Billington, The Guardian, 29 May 2009
  8. The Winter's Tale, production details, Maly Drama Theatre, Saint Petersburg
  9. "Declan Donnellan is a citizen of the world" by Emma-Kate Symons, The Australian, 31 December 2011 (subscription required)
  10. Bel Ami review by Nigel Andrews, Financial Times, 8 March 2012
  11. Olivier Winners 1995, Society of London Theatre

External links

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