Michael’s directing work includes: In Lambeth by the Oliver Award-winning Jack Shepherd at the Southwark Playhouse, But First This: Radio 4 the Musical for Act / Watermill Productions; the critically acclaimed Ying Tong by Roy Smiles, which opened at the West Yorkshire Playhouse before transferring to the Ambassadors; States of Shock by Sam Shepard at the BAC; This Other Eden by Jonathan Moore at the Soho Theatre (runner up in the Verity Bargate Awards); Hard Times by Stephen Jeffreys, Decadence by Steven Berkoff and an adaptation of Hound of the Baskervilles by Nick Fisher all for Salisbury Playhouse; Christmas by Simon Stephens at the White Bear Theatre; Doomsday by Inder Manocha at the Arcola Theatre; The Divided Laing at the Arcola Theatre Seduced by Michael Kingsbury at the Finborough Theatre; The Caretaker by Harold Pinter and Bloody Poetry by Howard Brenton which were both British Council/American Express tours of Austria in association with Michael’s company London City Theatre.
His production of Round The Horne...Revisited ran in the west end for sixteen months, completed three number one tours, was chosen to be part of the Royal Variety Performance and was co-nominated with Little Britain and the League of Gentlemen for the Manchester Evening News award for best touring comedy. Round The Horne... Revisited was critic’s choice in eleven publications including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, FT and The Independent on Sunday.
'The sense of gratitude I have for the cast and director is deep. Go see them.' - Simon Stephens
'A play that captures a lost moment in time and sings with regret.' - The Guardian
2003. A week before Christmas in an East-End pub, hard–bitten landlord Michael Macraw awaits the arrival of his customers. In comes local misfit Billy–Lee Russell, local barber Guissepe Rossi and a series of mysterious punters performing magic tricks. Last of all comes Charlie Anderson: ex-classical-musician-turned-postman who seeks to unearth the regulars’ deepest secrets. As the evening progresses and the drink flows it emerges that one of them has a secret he dare not share…
A scathingly humorous hidden gem by acclaimed playwright Simon Stephens, Christmas explores the lives and obsessions of four souls in the city…
Cast: Ralph Aiken, William Ely, James Groom, Lionel Guyett.
Performed at the White Bear Theatre, London 2014.
**** The Public Reviews
by Simon Stephens
**** The Stage
**** The Upcoming
'Surreal and enchanting...sure to make a powerful and lasting impression.' - A Younger Theatre
In Lambeth is set against a background of the French and American revolutions, the the thuggish anti-Republican mobs gathering around London. On his way to address a meeting, Tom Paine comes to pay his respects to William Blake. ‘Out of their encounter, Shepherd’s play orchestrates a fascinating clash between two types of revolutionary: the idealistic visionary and the principled pragmatist” Paul Taylor Independent. From Oliver Award-winning writer and actor Jack Shepherd.
Cast: Tom Mothersdale, Melody Grove, Christopher Hunter, Blair Anderson.
Performed at the Southwark Playhouse, London 2014.
**** The Arts Desk
by Jack Shepherd
**** The Times
'I surrendered completely to this joyous reminder of the cult radio show in the late 1960s.' **** The Guardian
The irresistable silliness of Round The Horne...Revisited is back, to delight old fans and first time audiences alike. This riotous theatre version of the cult 60s radio show, famously starring Kenneth Williams, Betty Marsden, Kenneth Horne and Hugh Paddick, is faithfully adapted for the stage by Brian Cooke, the last remaining writer of the original shows, and one of this country’s most successful comedy writers. Hilarious as the many recordings are, the actual live shows were unforgettable.
Come and hear the raucous songs of Rambling Syd Rumpo, some brand new outrageous antics from Julian & Sandy, and the absolute best of the original scripts and parodies. Relive the most futtocky and funny radio series ever, LIVE on stage!
Adapted by Brian Cooke, based on the radio scripts by Barry Took
Performed at the The Venue, London 2004 before a UK number one tour.
ROUND THE HORNE...REVISITED
***** Financial Times
**** Daily Telegraph
JUMPING THE SHARK
by David Cantor & Michael Kingsbury
Misleads, straight reverses, telegraphing, the rule of three, the law of C, jumping the shark...these are the rules of comedy. You can't just learn them. You have to live them. Afterall, comedy's no laughing matter...
Five strangers gather in a conference room on the outskirts of Farnham.The hotel has seen better days and is in need of improvement, but then again so are our protagonists.