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Marianne Elliott
OBE
Born
Marianne Phoebe Elliott

(1966-12-27) 27 December 1966 (age 55)
London, England
OccupationTheatre director and producer
Spouse(s)
(m. 2002)
Children1
Parents
Awards
Websitehttp://elliottharper.com

Marianne Phoebe Elliott OBE (born 27 December 1966) is a British theatre director and producer who works on the West End and Broadway. She is the recipient of various accolades including three Laurence Olivier Awards and three Tony Awards. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2018 Birthday Honours for her services to theatre.

Early life and education

Elliott was born in 1966 in London, the daughter of Michael Elliott, theatre director and co-founder of the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester, and actress Rosalind Knight.[1] Her maternal grandfather was the actor Esmond Knight. The family moved to Manchester when she was eight years old and attended St Hilary's School, Alderley Edge, Didsbury Road Junior School in Heaton Moor and later Stockport Grammar School.

She has said she "hated" the theatrical professions as a child "and used to ask [her parents] not to talk shop".[2] Despite this early ambivalence, she studied drama at Hull University, but used "to sneak into English lectures because she found them more interesting".[3][4]

Elliott's father, Michael, died when she was a teenager. She said "I don’t think I would have gone into the theatre at all if my father had lived because he was so good at it. I didn’t make the decision to direct until I was in my late 20s, a good 10 years after he died."[4]

Career

After leaving university Elliott was, initially, determined not to go into the theatre and had a number of different jobs including casting director and drama secretary at Granada Television. It was an assistant director role at Regent's Park that first moved her in the direction of a theatrical career.

Royal Exchange, Manchester (1995–2002)

In 1995 she began to work at the Royal Exchange, where her father had been a founding Artistic Director. She was nurtured by Greg Hersov, who she has described as her "biggest influence",[4] and she worked her way up including being appointed artistic director in 1998. In her own estimation, two stand-out productions from that period were a 2000 As You Like It and the world premiere of Simon Stephens' play Port.[4]

Royal Court Theatre, London (2002–2006)

In 2002 Elliott's career saw her move from Manchester to London, when she was invited by Artistic Director Ian Rickson to become an Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre. During this time, Elliott's productions included Notes on Falling Leaves by Ayub Khan Din, The Sugar Syndrome by Lucy Prebble, Stoning Mary by Debbie Tucker Green and Local as well as many new writing workshops and play readings.

Royal National Theatre (2006–2017)

In 2006, she was invited by Nicholas Hytner, who Elliott has said "seemed to value [her] talent more highly than I did"[4] to make her National Theatre debut with Ibsen's Pillars of the Community, which led to her being invited back to direct Saint Joan, starring Anne-Marie Duff, which won the Olivier Award for Best Revival in 2008.[4] She became an Associate Director under Hytner, and directed a series of important, influential and highly successful productions including War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. She left the National Theatre in 2017.

Elliott & Harper Productions (2016–present)

In 2016, Elliott teamed up with theatre producer Chris Harper to set up theatre company Elliott & Harper Productions. Its first production was the West End premiere of Heisenberg by Simon Stephens, directed by Elliott at the Wyndham's Theatre (3 October 2017 – 6 January 2018) which garnered mixed reviews and poor houses; an inauspicious start to the collaboration. Elliott & Harper became co-producers of the National Theatre's Broadway transfer of Angels in America which opened in March 2018, also directed by Elliott.[5]

The company produced the second West End revival of Company in which Bobbie was played by a woman. It opened at the Gielgud Theatre in September 2018 and the cast included Rosalie Craig as Bobbie, Patti LuPone as Joanne, Mel Giedroyc as Sarah and Jonathan Bailey as Jamie (originally a woman named Amy).[6][7] Elliott commented that Stephen Sondheim "didn’t like the idea at first, but he agreed to let me workshop it in London. We filmed part of it and sent it to him in New York, and he said he loved it. He has agreed to the odd lyric change, but essentially I’m hoping to tweak it as little as possible. Reviving Company 47 years on, I think it actually makes more sense for Bobbie to be a woman."[8]

Elliott & Harper have also produced a new adaptation of C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with Catherine Schreiber and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Directed by Sally Cookson, it ran at the West Yorkshire Playhouse until 27 January 2018 and transferred to the Bridge Theatre in London for Christmas 2019. It is due to go on a UK tour in Christmas 2021. In 2019, Elliott co-directed Death of a Salesman alongside Miranda Cromwell, which starred Wendell Pierce and Sharon D. Clarke at the Young Vic Theatre with an all-black Loman family. In autumn 2019, the production transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre and performed to rave reviews and sold-out audiences, despite the ceiling collapse at the Piccadilly Theatre in November 2019.

On March 2020, Elliott's Olivier-award winning production of Company opened at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre on Broadway on Stephen Sondheim's 90th Birthday Birthday. The production was forced to close, along with the rest of Broadway, after just 12 previews as a result of the spread of COVID-19. The revival opened December 9, 2021.[9][10][11]

Elliott directed Tamsin Greig and Harriet Walter in the new version of Talking Heads by Alan Bennett for the BBC in 2020.[12]

In 2022, the company produced the West End revival of Cock by Mike Bartlett starring Jonathan Bailey at the Ambassadors Theatre for a strictly limited run. The acclaimed[13] production reunited Elliot and Bailey who she previously directed in Company at the West End.[14][15] The Observer's Kate Kellaway called it an "immaculate production,"[16] with The Arts Desk writing that it was "brutal, bruising, and brilliant."[17]

Key collaborations

Elliott has established creative relationships with actors and collaborators over the years:

Personal life

Elliott married the actor Nick Sidi in 2002; they have one daughter.

Work

Selected theatre productions

Bibliography

Honours

Elliott was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to theatre.[22]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2006 Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Director Pillars of the Community Won [23]
2007 Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Director War Horse Nominated [24]
2008 Laurence Olivier Award Best Director Nominated [25]
2011 Tony Award Best Direction of a Play Won [26]
Drama Desk Award Special Award Honouree [27]
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Director of a Play Won [28]
2013 Laurence Olivier Award Best Director The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Won [29]
2015 Tony Award Best Direction of a Play Won [26]
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play Won [30]
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Director of a Play Won [31]
2018 Tony Award Best Revival of a Play Angels in America Won [32]
Best Direction of a Play Nominated [26]
Laurence Olivier Award Best Revival Won [33]
Best Director Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Play Won [34]
Outstanding Director of a Play Nominated
Drama League Award Outstanding Revival of a Play Won [35]
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Revival of a Play Won [36]
Outstanding Director of a Play Nominated
Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Director Company Won [37]
2019 Laurence Olivier Award Best Director Nominated [38]
Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Director Death of a Salesman Nominated [39]
2020 Laurence Olivier Award Best Revival Nominated [40]
Best Director Won
Drama League Award Founders Award for Excellence in Directing Honouree [35]
2022 Tony Award Best Direction of a Musical Company Pending [41]

References

  1. ^ Kellaway, Kate (29 October 2006). "Theatre: Kate Kellaway asks why is Marianne Elliott so little-known?". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Lisa O'Kelly "Marianne Elliott: 'Why do something that's run of the mill?'" The Observer, 3 February 2013.
  3. ^ Kate Kellaway "'When it goes well it is like falling in love. It gives you an incredible high'", The Observer, 29 October 2006.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Marianne Elliott, interview with theatre director who helmed War Horse". The Stage. 20 July 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  5. ^ Chow, Andrew R. (27 November 2017). "Marianne Elliott to Direct Sondheim and Furth's 'Company,' With a Gender Twist". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  6. ^ Johnson, Robin (12 July 2018). "Jonathan Bailey & Alex Gaumond join Company revival". Official London Theatre. Archived from the original on 7 April 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  7. ^ Wiegand, Chris (16 March 2021). "Patti LuPone meets Jonathan Bailey: 'You're the biggest star in the world!'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 May 2022. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  8. ^ Paulson, Michael (1 December 2021). "'I Was Skeptical.' How Sondheim Agreed to Change 'Company.'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Interest in Stephen Sondheim's Music, Books and Shows Soar After His Death". The New York Times. 8 December 2021. Archived from the original on 28 December 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Review: In a Gender-Flipped Revival, 'Company' Loves Misery". The New York Times. 9 December 2021. Archived from the original on 28 December 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  11. ^ Marks, Peter (9 December 2021). "Review - It's a welcome return of 'Company' to Broadway -- with another Sondheim memory to savor". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  12. ^ Halligan2020-06-24T12:07:00+01:00, Fionnuala. "'Talking Heads': TV Review". Screen. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Jonathan Bailey discusses his latest stage outing in Cock". www.whatsonstage.com. Archived from the original on 16 April 2022. Retrieved 10 May 2022. The acclaimed production runs until 4 June
  14. ^ Lukowski, Andrzej (26 September 2021). "Taron Egerton and Jonathan Bailey star in a richly-deserved revival for Mike Bartlett's early hit". Time Out. Archived from the original on 26 October 2021. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  15. ^ Wiltbank, Michael (6 April 2022). "See Jonathan Bailey and Joel Harper-Jackson in New Photos for London's Cock". Playbill. Archived from the original on 8 April 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  16. ^ "The week in theatre: Dogs of Europe; Cock – reviews". The Guardian. 20 March 2022. Archived from the original on 24 April 2022. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  17. ^ "Cock, Ambassadors Theatre review – brutal, bruising and brilliant". theartsdesk.com. 15 March 2022. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Jonathan Bailey | Because Bravery Moves So Damned Well Across The Floor". Flaunt Magazine. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  19. ^ "Poor Super Man", Royal Exchange Theatre. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  20. ^ Royal Exchange Past Productions
  21. ^ National Theatre Past Productions Archived 25 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Emma Thompson made a dame in Queen's Birthday Honours". BBC News. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  23. ^ Gans, Andrew (27 November 2006). "2006 Evening Standard Award Winners Announced". Playbill. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2007: the shortlist". www.standard.co.uk. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  25. ^ "Olivier Winners 2008". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  26. ^ a b c "The Tony Award Nominations". www.tonyawards.com. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  27. ^ Cox, Gordon (24 May 2011). "'Book of Mormon,' 'Anything Goes' top Drama Desk awards". Variety. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  28. ^ "The Book of Mormon, War Horse and Anything Goes Top 2011 Outer Critics Circle Awards". Broadway.com. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  29. ^ "Olivier Winners 2013". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  30. ^ Cox, Gordon (1 June 2015). "'Hamilton,' 'Curious Incident' Top the 2015 Drama Desk Awards (FULL LIST)". Variety. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  31. ^ Cox, Gordon (11 May 2015). "Outer Critic Circle Awards 2015 (FULL LIST): 'Curious Incident' Wins Big". Variety. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  32. ^ "The Tony Award Nominations". www.tonyawards.com. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  33. ^ "Olivier Awards 2018". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  34. ^ "SpongeBob SquarePants & More Win 2018 Drama Desk Awards". Broadway.com. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  35. ^ a b "Awards History - The Drama League". dramaleague.org. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  36. ^ Millward, Tom (7 May 2018). "Outer Critics Circle Awards 2018... And the Winners are..." New York Theater Guide. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  37. ^ Thompson, Jessie. "Find out the winners of this year's Evening Standard Theatre Awards". Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  38. ^ "Winners list for the Olivier Awards 2019 with Mastercard | Official Website". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  39. ^ "The 2019 Evening Standard Theatre Awards shortlist in full". www.standard.co.uk. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  40. ^ "Olivier Awards 2020 with Mastercard - Theatre's Biggest Night". Olivier Awards. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  41. ^ "Tony Awards 2022". Tony Awards. Retrieved 9 May 2022.