Now based in Reykjavik, Benedict Andrews is established as one of the most sought after Australian theatre directors of his generation. He has been described as "the kind of director who ruffles feathers". Born in Adelaide in 1972, he was educated at Flinders University Drama Centre.
His work has been described as visionary and praised for its innovative staging, arresting visual style and visceral performances. His recent production of Tennessee Williams’ A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (with Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster) was the fastest selling production in the Young Vic’s history. His production of Jean Genet’s THE MAIDS (with Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth Debickie and Isabelle Huppert) played to great acclaim and packed houses as part of the 2014 Lincoln Center Festival, New York.
Over the past decade, Benedict has built up a remarkable and singular body of work for theatres in Australia and Europe. He is known for his radical versions of masterpieces by Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, Jean Genet and Tennessee Williams, as well as his stagings of contemporary writers such as David Harrower, Martin Crimp, Marius von Mayenburg, Caryl Churchill and Sarah Kane.
Benedict has been a regular guest at Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney, London’s Young Vic, the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin, and the National Theatre of Iceland in Reykjavik. Key productions include: THREE SISTERS (Young Vic, 2012) which won the London Critics’ Circle Award for Best Director; GROß UND KLEIN (STC, 2011) for which Benedict received the 2011 Helpmann Best Director award for the third time and which toured to Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), The Barbican (London), the Wiener Festwochen (Vienna) and the Ruhrfestspiele (Recklinghausen); and the marathon Shakespeare cycle, THE WAR OF THE ROSES (STC, 2009) which was the theatrical highlight of the 2009 Sydney and Perth festivals, receiving six Helpmann Awards including Best Play and Best Direction of a Play, as well as five Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Direction and Best Mainstage Production.!
Benedict also works extensively in opera. In autumn 2014, he will open a new production of LA BOHEME at Dutch National Opera, a co-production with English National Opera. His prior ENO production, Detlev Glanert’s CALIGULA (2012), was nominated for an Olivier Best New Opera Production award and toured to Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires in 2014. Other recent opera includes: Verdi’s MACBETH at Royal Danish Opera; LE NOZZE DI FIGARO at Sydney Opera House; THE FIERY ANGEL at Komische Opera, Berlin.
As a writer, Benedict’s theatrical adaptations are recognised for their freshness and vitality. These include: THE MAIDS (with Andrew Upton), Three Sisters, THE SEAGULL, THE WAR OF THE ROSES (with Tom Wright) and LIFE IS A DREAM (with Beatrix Christian.)
Benedict’s first original play EVERY BREATH was produced at Belvoir Street Theatre in 2012 and subsequently translated into Portuguese by Jorge Silva Melo and produced by Artistas Unidos in Lisbon 2013, directed by John Romão. The Portuguese production was nominate for Time Out Lisbon’s Best Play award.
Benedict’s first volume of poetry LENS FLARE was published in 2014 by Pitt Poetry .
- 2014 A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic
- 2013 The Maids, by Jean Genet, Sydney Theatre Company
- 2012 Three Sisters, Young Vic
- 2012 Gross und Klein, Barbican
- 2011 The Seagull, Belvoir Street, Sydney
- 2009 The City by Martin Crimp, Sydney Theatre Company
- 2009 The War of the Roses, Sydney Theatre Company
- 2005 Julius Caesar, Sydney Theatre Company
- 2003 Endgame, Sydney Theatre Company
- 2000 Attempts on her Life by Martin Crimp, Sydney Theatre Company
- 2000 La Dispute by Pierre Marivaux, translated by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Sydney Theatre Company