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Adrian Noble


RSC Artistic Director, Chief Executive 1990-2003


Adrian’s feature film ‘Mrs Lowry & Son’ starring Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spall was released in 2019 to great acclaim.


In 2016, Adrian directed Joseph Fiennes in ‘Ross’ at the Chichester Festival Theatre and ‘A Room With A View,’ starring Felicity Kendall.


In 2015, Adrian directed ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ starring David Suchet in the West End.


In 2014, he co-directed with Kate Bush her triumphant, sell-out return to the stage – ‘Beyond the Dawn’ – at the Hammersmith Apollo and directed ‘The Importance of Being Earnest,’ starring David Suchet, in the West End.


Adrian directed ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ for The Theatre Royal Bath.


Adrian directed ‘The Captain of Kopenick’ at the National and the stage play of The King’s Speech’.


In the summer of 2012, he directed ‘Inherit the Wind’ and ‘As You Like It’ as Artistic Director at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. At the Old Globe he directed ‘Merchant of Venice’ and ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’.


Adrian directed ‘Hedda Gabler’ for the Theatre Royal Bath in 2010 and was also appointed Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director for The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and directed two shows for them that year. He also directed two shows for The Old Globe that year, ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Amadeus’ as well as in 2012 and 2013. He also directed ‘The Tempest’ again for the Theatre Royal Bath in 2012.


In 2009 Adrian released a book ‘How to do Shakespeare’.


Adrian’s theatre productions include: ‘Hamlet’ (2008) for the Stratford Festival of Canada, ‘Cosi Fan Tutti’ (2006) at the Opera De Lyon, ‘Keane’ (2007) for Thelma Holt Ltd at the Noel Coward Theatre, ‘Summer and Smoke’ (2006) and ‘A Woman Of No Importance’ (2003) for Stanhope Productions. ‘The Home Place’ (2005) by Brian Friel at the Abby and West End, ‘Brand’ (2003) by Ibsen starring Ralph Fiennes, ‘Pericles’ at The Roundhouse in Stratford and in the West End London and ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ (2002) at The London Palladium starring Michael Ball.


RSC Season 2000 Director of The Secret Garden (RST)


Adrian Noble was educated at the Chichester High School and the University of Bristol.  His professional training began at the London Drama Centre, and he moved from there into community theatre and young people’s theatre at the Trinity Arts Centre, Birmingham.


In 1976 he went to the Bristol Old Vic on a Thames TV Director’s Bursary, where he was first a Resident Director and then an Associate Director.


In 1980 and 1981 at the Royal Exchange Theatre Company in Manchester he directed ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ (for which he won both the Plays and the Players London Drama Critics Award and the Drama Critic’s Award and the Drama Award jointly with A Doll’s House) and ‘Dr Faustus’.


In 1980 he joined the RSC as Assistant Director, becoming an Associate Director almost immediately.  His first production for the RSC was Ostrovsky’s ‘The Forest’ which transferred first to the Warehouse and then to the Aldwych and was named best revival in 1981 Drama Awards.  In 1988 he was appointed by Terry Hands to be Artistic Director of the RSC whole Stratford season and in 1989 went on to be Artistic Director of the RSC London season.


His RSC productions include: ‘A Dolls House’, ‘A New Way to Pay Old Debts’, ‘The Comedy of Errors’, ‘Measure for Measure’, ‘King Lear’, ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, ‘The Winters Tale’, ‘Henry V’, ‘Desert Air’, ‘As You Like It’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Kiss Me Kate’, ‘The Art of Success’, ‘The Plantagenets’ and ‘The Master Builder’.


In 1989 Adrian left the RSC to pursue an independent career and directed ‘The Art of Success’ at the Manhattan Theatre Club and Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’ at the Gate Theatre, Dublin and The Royal Court Theatre.


Adrian has directed Don Giovanni’ for Kent Opera, ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ in a circus tent in Paris, ‘The Faerie Queen’ for the Peter Hall Company at the Aix-en Provence Festival and a Japanese production of ‘Twelfth Night’.  He was also a member of the 1989 Gulbenkian Enquiry into Training Directors.


Adrian Noble assumed overall responsibility for the RSC in March 1991 and has since directed highly successful productions of:

‘Henry IV’ Parts 1 and 2 (Stratford 1991/92)

‘The Thebans’ (Stratford 1991/92)

‘The Winter’s Tale’ (Stratford 1992/93)

‘Hamlet’ (Barbican 1992, Stratford 1993)

‘Travesties’ (Barbican 1993, and on tour)

‘Macbeth’ (Barbican 1993, Stratford 1994)

‘King Lear’ (Barbican Theatre 1994, Stratford 1993)

‘Travesties’ (Savoy Theatre 1994)

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Stratford 1994, Barbican 1994, and Broadway)

‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Stratford 1995, Barbican 1995)

‘The Cherry Orchard’ (Stratford 1996, Barbican 1997)

‘Cymbeline’ (Stratford 1997, Barbican 1997/98)

‘Twelfth Night’ (Stratford 1997/98)

‘The Tempest’ (Stratford 1998)

‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ (Stratford, Barbican 1998/9)

‘The Family Reunion’ (Stratford, Barbican 1999/2000)

‘The Seagull’ (Stratford, Barbican 1999/2000)

‘Il Ritorno d’Ulysse’ (Aix-en-Provence 2000 )

‘The Secret Garden’ (Stratford, London 2000/01 )


His film ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was released in 1996.  His production of ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ opened at Sadlers Wells Theatre in December 2000 and was revived in Stratford in 2002.


Adrian has been awarded D.Litt from Birmingham University (1994) and Bristol University (1996).