David Leveaux

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David Leveaux
Born (1957-12-13) 13 December 1957 (age 57)
Leicester, England, United Kingdom

David Leveaux (born 13 December 1957)[1] is a British theatre director who has been nominated for five Tony Awards as director of both plays and musicals.[2] He directs both in the UK, working at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Almeida Theatre, and the Donmar Warehouse, on Broadway, and also in Tokyo.

Early life[edit]

Leveaux was born in Leicester and raised in Derby in the Midlands, the son of a cardiologist.[1] He read English language and literature at Manchester University.[3]

Career[edit]

In his early 20s, Leveaux became assistant to Peter Gill at Riverside Studios.[3] When the Studios became bankrupt he was one of a group who occupied the building illegally to keep it running until it was reestablished legitimately.[3] While taking a break in New York City, he discovered Eugene O'Neill's play, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and revived it at Riverside, starring Frances de la Tour and Ian Bannen. The production transferred to the West End and Broadway (1984).[3]

Subsequently he directed Therese Raquin at Chichester, Anna Christie in London and on Broadway, and Romeo and Juliet for the Royal Shakespeare Company. At the Almeida Theatre he directed Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, Moonlight, Betrayal and Neil LaBute's The Distance From Here (2002).[3][4]

He was Artistic Director of Theatre Project Tokyo, directing productions in Tokyo, including Electra (1995), Lulu (1999), Modern Noh Plays, The Changeling, Hedda Gabler, and Two Headed Eagle.[1][5]

He was associate director of the Donmar Warehouse, under Sam Mendes' artistic directorship. His revival of the musical Nine at Donmar in 1996 transferred to Broadway in 2003 with Antonio Banderas, where he received a nomination for the Tony Award, Best Direction of a Musical and the musical itself won the Tony Award as Best Revival of a Musical. He directed Electra (1997), for which Zoë Wanamaker received an Olivier Award.[6] He received the Olivier Award nomination for Best Director for his 1999 revival of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing.[3][7]

In 2003 he revived Tom Stoppard's Jumpers for the Royal National Theatre in London. This then toured the UK regions before eventually transferring to Broadway in 2004.[3]

He recently directed Cyrano de Bergerac (2007) on Broadway, starring Kevin Kline, with Ben Brantley writing in The New York Times:

"Mr. Leveaux, the British director of the exquisite-looking Broadway productions of "Nine" and "Jumpers,” does pretty better than most of his peers, which is his blessing and his curse. (Even "Fiddler on the Roof,” in his hands, suggested a Vogue layout on Shtetl Chic.) He also has a strong sentimental streak, tempered by his aesthetic sense. He is the perfect man to bring "Cyrano" into the 21st century, presenting the play’s flowery sensibility without making audiences feel they’ve been doused in perfume."[8]

He is directing the first West End revival of Tom Stoppard's play Arcadia, opening in May 2009.[9]

Michael Riedel Controversy[edit]

In 2005, Leveaux was in an altercation with New York Post columnist Michael Riedel at the Manhattan theatre hangout Angus McIndoe. Riedel, who later admitted to being "tipsy", insulted Leveaux by claiming that English directors often ruin classic American musicals. While rumours circulated that Leveaux hit Riedel so hard that the columnist had to go to the emergency room, the truth is that Riedel was merely shoved to the floor and was not injured.[10]

Work[edit]

Broadway
Donmar Warehouse
  • The Real Thing – 1999 (transferred to the Albery Theatre, January 2000)
  • Electra – (1997)
  • Nine – (1996)
Almeida Theatre
  • The Distance From Here – (2002)
  • No Man's Land – 1992 (transferred to Comedy Theatre, 1993)
  • Moonlight – (1993)
  • Betrayal – (1991)
Duke of York's Theatre

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c this source shows 1958:Biography filmreference.com, accessed 9 May 2009
  2. ^ "Leveaux listing for Tony Awards", tonyawards.com, accessed 9 May 2009
  3. ^ a b c d e f g '20 Questions With...David Leveaux', WhatsOnStage.com, 16 June 2003
  4. ^ Listing of Pinter plays, with production details haroldpinter.org, accessed 10 May 2009
  5. ^ Leveaux creditsNational Theatre New York, accessed 9 May 2009
  6. ^ Olivier Awards, 1998 albemarle-london.com, accessed 9 May 2009
  7. ^ Olivier Awards, 2000 albemarle-london.com, accessed 9 May 2009
  8. ^ Brantley, Ben.Rapier Wit and a Nose for Poetry",The New York TimesNovember 2, 2007
  9. ^ Lipton, Brian S."David Leveaux to Direct West End Revival of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia", theatermania.com, 20 April 2009
  10. ^ Zinoman, Jason (5 March 2004). "ON STAGE AND OFF". The New York Times. Retrieved April 2012. 
  11. ^ "Official Duke of York's Theatre Website", Ambassador Theatre Group, accessed 22 August 2011.

External links[edit]