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Richard Eyre
Born Richard Charles Hastings Eyre
28 March 1943 (1943-03-28) (age 66)
Barnstaple, Devon, England
Occupation Theatre director
Spouse(s) Sue Birtwistle

Sir Richard Charles Hastings Eyre CBE (born 28 March 1943) is an English director of film, theatre, television, and opera.

Contents

Education

Eyre was educated at Sherborne School, an independent school for boys, in the town of Sherborne in north-west Dorset, followed by Peterhouse at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, and Lincoln College at the University of Oxford in Oxford, Oxfordshire.

Biography

Eyre was Associate Director at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh from 1967 to 1972. He won STV Awards for the Best Production in Scotland in 1969, 1970 and 1971. He was artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse from 1973-78 where he commissioned and directed many new plays, including Trevor Griffith's Comedians.

Eyre was director of the National Theatre (which became the Royal National Theatre during his time there) between 1987 and 1997, having previously directed a noted revival of Guys and Dolls for the venue in 1982. His diaries during this time have been published as National Service and won the 2003 Theatre Book Prize.

Other than Guys and Dolls, his most noted theatre productions are of Hamlet (twice), with Jonathan Pryce at the Royal Court in 1980 and Daniel Day-Lewis in 1989; Richard III with Ian McKellen; King Lear with Ian Holm; Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana and Sweet Bird of Youth; Eduardo Di Filippo's Napoli Milionaria and Le Grande Magia; John Gabriel Borkman with Paul Scofield, Vanessa Redgrave and Eileen Atkins; Hedda Gabler with Eve Best, and numerous new plays by David Hare, Tom Stoppard, Trevor Griffiths, Howard Brenton, Alan Bennett, Christopher Hampton and Nicholas Wright.

Eyre has also directs operas. His debut was the 1994 production of La Traviata at the Royal Opera House which starred Angela Gheorghiu and was conducted by Sir Georg Solti. This production was televised and has subsequently been released on video and DVD.

He directed the musical Mary Poppins in London and on Broadway. On 14 February 2007, Eyre's production of Nicholas Wright's The Reporter premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London. The play explores the social climate in the years before James Mossman's death as well as the reasons for the death itself.

Eyre will direct a new production of Bizet's opera Carmen for the Metropolitan Opera's 2009-2010 season, starring Latvian mezzo soprano Elina Garanca and Roberto Alagna.

Eyre is set to direct the stage adaptation of Hollywood legend Robert Evans' memoirs, The Kid Stays in the Picture and it’s sequel, The Fat Lady Sang, with Jon Robin Baitz in place to pen the stage play.[1]

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Television

Eyre worked as both a director and one of the producers of BBC's Play for Today between 1978 and 1980. He returned to the BBC in 1988 to direct the Falklands War story Tumbledown (starring Colin Firth), which won him the BAFTA Award for Best Director. Eyre served on the board of Governors of the BBC between 1995 and 2003.

Film

For film he directed The Ploughman's Lunch (written by Ian McEwan) in 1982, which won the Evening Standard Award for Best Film, Iris, a biopic of writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch (starring Judi Dench, Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent), Stage Beauty. Most recently he directed Notes on a Scandal, the film adaptation of the Booker Prize-nominated novel by Zoe Heller, and The Other Man, an adaptation of a short story by Bernhard Schlink, starring Liam Neeson, Antonio Banderas and Laura Linney.

Writing

Eyre has written adaptations of Hedda Gabler and of Sartre's Les Mains Sales as The Novice for the Almeida Theatre.

A friend of Ian Charleson, whom he directed in acclaimed performances of Guys and Dolls and Hamlet, Eyre contributed a chapter to the 1990 book, For Ian Charleson: A Tribute.[2]

Awards

He has been the recipient of numerous directing awards including five Olivier Awards. In 1982 he won the Evening Standard Award for Best Director, for Guys and Dolls, and in 1997 for King Lear and Tom Stoppard's Invention of Love. In 1997 he won an Olivier Lifetime Achievement Award, and awards from The Directors' Guild of Great Britain, The South Bank Show, The Evening Standard and The Critics' Circle. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1992 New Year Honours,[3] and knighted in the 1997 New Year Honours,[4] receiving the honour on 4 March 1997.[5] He became a Patron of the Alzheimer's Research Trust in 2001.[1] He was made an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1998, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters (honoris causa) by the University of Nottingham on 10 July 2008.

References

  1. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/theater/11evans.html?hpw
  2. ^ Ian McKellen, Alan Bates, Hugh Hudson, et al. For Ian Charleson: A Tribute. London: Constable and Company, 1990. pp. 119–124.
  3. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52767, p. 8, 30 December 1991. Retrieved on 2008-04-05.
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 54625, pp. 1–2, 30 December 1996. Retrieved on 2008-04-05.
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 55229, p. 8993, 18 August 1998. Retrieved on 2008-04-05.

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