Declan Donnellan is an internationally acclaimed theatre director, co-founder and joint Artistic Director of Cheek by Jowl, and author of The Actor and the Target.

Donnellan and his partner, Nick Ormerod, formed Cheek by Jowl in 1981 and he has since directed over 30 productions for the company. Work with Cheek by Jowl includes his cross-gender, colour-blind cast As You Like It with Adrian Lester. He has also staged the English premieres of major European classics by writers such as Racine, Corneille, Lessing and Ostrovski.

In 1989, Donnellan was made Associate Director of the Royal National Theatre in London, where his productions have included Fuenteovejuna, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Mandate and both parts of Angels in America.

In 2000, he formed a company of actors in Moscow, under the auspices of The Chekhov International Theatre Festival, whose productions include Boris Godunov, Twelfth Night, Three Sisters, and The Tempest. These productions have already been seen in in more than 25 countries.

His book, The Actor and the Target, originally published in Russian (2001), has since appeared in 15 languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, German, Romanian and Mandarin, and the second English edition was published in 2005. Donnellan also wrote the play Lady Betty, bringing Ireland’s notorious hangwoman to the stage with Cheek by Jowl in 1989. His adaptation credits for the company include Don’t Fool with Love by Alfred de Musset, Antigone by Sophocles, The Mandate by Erdman and Masquerade by Lermontov.

Donnellan has received awards in London, Moscow, Paris and New York, including four Olivier Awards for Director of the Year (1987), Best Director of a Musical (1994), Best Director of a Play (1995), and Outstanding Achievement (1990). In 2004 he was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his work in France, and in 2009 he shared the Charlemagne award with Craig Venter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was awarded an OBE in 2017.

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