John Caird (director)
John Caird in January 2011
|Born||John Newport Caird
22 September 1948
|Spouse(s)||Maoko Imai (m. 1998)|
John Newport Caird (born 22 September 1948) is a British stage director and writer of plays, musicals and operas. He is an Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a regular director with the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and the Principal Guest Director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm (Dramaten).
He lived in Montreal until 1959 where he attended Selwyn House School. His family then moved to Oxford where he attended Magdalen College School from 1959-1967. He studied acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School from 1967 to 1969.
Caird worked as an actor and stage manager at various English repertory theatres and in London’s West End before embarking on his directorial career at Contact Theatre in Manchester in 1973.
Caird was an Associate Director of Contact Theatre for two years from 1973-1975 where he directed plays by Shakespeare, Chris Bond, John Osborne, James Saunders, Samuel Beckett, wrote and acted in Theatre in Education programmes for Manchester’s schools and prisons, and was an actor and musician in plays by Brecht, Goldoni and Jellicoe.
He then worked as a freelance director for various fringe theatre companies. For Sidewalk Theatre he directed Last Resort by Peter Flannery. For Avon Touring he directed Regina versus Stephens by the late David Illingworth.
Caird also taught for one semester at Ottawa University Drama Department, Canada, where he directed The Changeling by Middleton and Rowley. In 1975, he founded, with Stephen Barlow and others, Circle of Muses - a touring music theatre troupe that took musical entertainments around classical music clubs in England and Wales.
In 1977 Caird joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as Assistant Director, becoming a Resident Director in December 1977 and an Associate Director in 1980.
From 1977-1990 Caird directed over 20 productions for the RSC including Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with Zoë Wanamaker, John Thaw, Daniel Massey and Emrys James, Romeo and Juliet with Daniel Day-Lewis, Amanda Root and Roger Allam, Midsummer Night’s Dream with John Carlisle, Clare Higgins and Richard McCabe, Merchant of Venice, As You Like It and Antony and Cleopatra.
At the RSC’s Swan Theatre he directed Ben Jonson’s comedies Every Man in His Humour with Simon Russell Beale, Henry Goodman and Pete Postlethwaite and the New Inn with John Carlisle and Fiona Shaw, the first night of this play being the second-ever professional performance since it first appeared in 1629. His last production at the Swan was his own new version of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera with music composed by Ilona Sekacz.
Caird’s other productions at the RSC included classic works by Farquhar, Shaw, Strindberg, Gorky and Brecht and world premières of plays by Peter Flannery, Jonathan Gems, Mary O'Malley, John Berger, Nella Bielski, Charles Wood and Richard Nelson.
At the RSC Caird also co-directed four productions with Trevor Nunn. The first was Merry Wives of Windsor in 1978 with Ben Kingsley, David Threlfall, and Timothy Spall. Next was Nicholas Nickleby in 1980, a nine-hour adaption from Dickens by David Edgar that ran for three separate seasons at the Aldwych Theatre and then transferred to the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway. Caird and Nunn then collaborated on a new version of J.M.Barrie’s Peter Pan, the first ever production of the play to use a male actor in the title role. The production ran for three consecutive seasons at the Barbican Theatre from 1982-1984 with Miles Anderson, Mark Rylance and John McAndrew all playing Peter. Lastly Les Misérables in 1985, a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil that was a co-production between the RSC and Cameron Mackintosh. It ran for eight weeks at the Barbican Theatre before transferring to the Palace Theatre in the West End, moving to the Queen’s Theatre in 2004 where it is still running. It opened at The Broadway Theatre in New York in 1987 and thereafter has played all over the world.
Caird started directing at London's Royal National Theatre in 1993 under the Artistic Directorship of Richard Eyre. His first production was Trelawney of the Wells with Helen McCrory and Robin Bailey. Chekhov’s The Seagull followed in 1994 in a new version by Pam Gems with Judi Dench, Helen McCrory and Bill Nighy. In 1996 he directed the world premiére of Pam Gems’ play Stanley based on the life of the English painter Stanley Spencer, with Anthony Sher in the title role. Stanley later transferred to the Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway. He continued to direct plays at the National under the Artistic Directorship of Trevor Nunn with Peter Pan in 1997 starring Daniel Evans as Pan and Ian McKellen as Hook and, in the NT Ensemble season of 1999, Bulwer-Lytton’s Money and his own new version of the Voltaire/Bernstein Candide, both with Simon Russell Beale and the late Denis Quilley. In 2000, he again directed Simon Russell Beale, this time in Hamlet, a production that toured the UK and Europe, going to Elsinore, Stockholm and Belgrade, before transferring to the Brooklyn Academy (BAM) in New York. Caird’s last production at the National Theatre was the world première of Humble Boy by Charlotte Jones, with Diana Rigg and Simon Russell Beale. The play transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End where Felicity Kendal joined the cast and it opened in New York in 2003 at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Caird’s other productions in the West End have included Macbeth at the Almeida Theatre with Simon Russell Beale and Emma Fielding, Anouilh’s Becket at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with Jasper Britton and Dougray Scott, Charles Dyer’s Rattle of a Simple Man with Michelle Collins and Stephen Tompkinson and Michael Weller’s What the Night Is For with Gillian Anderson and Roger Allam, both at the Comedy Theatre and his own musical Daddy Long Legs at the St James Theatre with Megan McGinnis and Rob Hancock.
In 2009, Caird was made Principal Guest Director at Sweden’s national stage, the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Stockholm (Dramaten). His first production in Sweden was As You Like It (Som ni vill ha det) for Stadsteatern (Stockholm City Theatre) in 1984, with Stina Ekblad and Mats Bergman. Since then he has directed exclusively for Dramaten with A Midsummer Night's Dream (En midsommarnattsdröm) in 2000, Twelfth Night (Trettondagsafton) in 2002, Strindberg’s Dödsdansen (The Dance of Death) in 2007 with Stina Ekblad and Örjan Ramberg and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Muntra fruarna i Windsor) with Börje Ahlstedt as Falstaff in 2009.
Caird’s new production of Shakespeare's The Tempest (Stormen) opened at Dramaten in October 2010 with Orjan Ramberg, Stina Ekblad and Jonas Karlsson. He returned to Dramaten to direct Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (Romeo och Julia) starring Christoffer Svensson and Sophia Pekkari. This production opened in April 2011 and ran through the summer and autumn seasons.
Caird’s Japanese productions started with Les Misérables, which opened at the Imperial Theatre (Teikoku Gekijo) in 1987 and has been running in repertoire with other works at the same location ever since, as well as touring extensively throughout Japan.
In 2006, he directed his own version of The Beggar's Opera for the Nissay Theatre in Tokyo, the production being revived in 2008. His 2007 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (Natsu no Yo no Yume) for the New National Theatre (Shinkokuritsu Gekijo) was revived in 2009. His play Kinshu adapted from Teru Miyamoto's famous novel opened at the Galaxy Theatre in 2007 and was revived in 2009. He has also directed Coward’s Private Lives (Shiseikatsu) at Theatre Crié in 2008 and Jane Eyre at the Nissay Theatre in 2009. In 2010 Caird directed his own version of Bernstein's Candide at the Imperial Theatre, starring Inoue Yoshio and Ichimura Masachika.
Caird will return to Tokyo in the summer of 2012 to direct the Japanese première of his musical Daddy Long Legs at Theatre Crié, and a revival of the Shochiku production of Jane Eyre for the Nissay Theatre and the Hakata-za in Kyushu.
Caird returned to Tokyo in the summer of 2012 to direct the Japanese première of his musical Daddy Long Legs at Theatre Crié, starring Maaya Sakamoto and Inoue Yoshio and translated by Maoko Caird. His revival of the Shochiku production of Jane Eyre opened at the Nissay Theatre in the autumn of 2012 and toured to Hakata-za in Kyushu.
Daddy Long Legs was revived in January 2013 at Theatre Crié.
In opera, Caird has directed Mozart's Zaide with a new libretto by Italo Calvino at Musica nel Chiostro, the Batignano Opera Festival in Tuscany, in 1991, conducted by Paul McGrath. In 2005 he directed Verdi's Don Carlos at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff, conducted by Carlo Rizzi. In the same year, he directed a staged reading of The Screams of Kitty Genovese, a new opera by Will Todd and David Simpatico at the Public Theater in New York.
In 2007-8 he wrote the libretto for Brief Encounter, a new opera by André Previn based on the play Still Life by Noël Coward and the Brief Encounter screenplay by Coward and David Lean. The opera had its world première performance at Houston Grand Opera in 2009 conducted by Patrick Summers and starring Elizabeth Futral and Nathan Gunn with designs by Bunny Christie. Brief Encounter is published by G. Schirmer's in New York and a CD of the original live production was released by Deutsche Grammophon in April 2011.
Caird directed Puccini’s Tosca for HGO for the 2010 season, with Patricia Racette as Tosca, Alexey Dolgov as Cavaradossi and Raymond Aceto as Scarpia, conducted by Patrick Summers with designs by Bunny Christie.
He returned to Houston Grand Opera in April 2012 to direct Verdi's Don Carlos, conducted by Patrick Summers. This was the third leg of a co-production with Welsh National Opera and Canadian Opera Company.
In October 2012 Caird mounted a new production for Houston Grand Opera of Puccini's La Bohème, conducted by Evan Rogister with sets by David Farley. This co-production with Canadian Opera Company and San Francisco Opera will open in Toronto in the autumn of 2013, conducted by Carlo Rizzi and in San Francisco in 2014, conducted by Giuseppe Finzi.
In May 2013 Caird's production of Tosca will open in Los Angeles at LA Opera, conducted by Plácido Domingo with Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role, Marco Berti as Cavaradossi and Lado Ataneli as Scarpia.
In November Caird will direct a new production of Wagner's Parsifal for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis with sets by Johan Engels. The singers will include Paul Groves, Thomas Hampson, Daveda Karanas, Tomas Tomasson & Kwangchul Youn.
He has also written libretti for a number of new musicals, all of which he also directed. As well as adapting and co-directing Schönberg and Boublil’s Les Misérables for the RSC and Cameron Mackintosh, he has written libretti for Children of Eden with music by Stephen Schwartz which ran in the West End in 1991 and now enjoys numerous productions worldwide every year, Jane Eyre with music by Paul Gordon which played in La Jolla, Toronto and at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway from 1998–2000, Bernstein’s Candide which he adapted from the original Voltaire novel for the National Theatre season of 1999. Candide has since been published by Music Theatre International in New York and has had numerous productions across the US and worldwide.
The Japanese première of Caird's version of Candide opened at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo in June 2010, directed by Caird and designed by Yoon Bae, after the original designs by John Napier.
Caird also wrote and directed, with the designer John Napier, The Siegfried and Roy Spectacular, a magic show for the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, starring Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn and their menagerie of white tigers. The show opened in February 1991 and ran until October 2004, finally closing when Roy was injured by one of his beloved tigers.
Caird's adaptation of Daddy Long Legs, Jean Webster's classic novel, with music by Paul Gordon, had its world première at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, California in 2009, starring Megan McGinnis and Robert Adelman Hancock before touring to Palo Alto, Cincinnati and numerous other theatres in the US. Daddy Long Legs won three LA Ovation Awards and transferred to London in the autumn of 2012 where it played at the newly opened St James Theatre.
Caird has just started another collaboration with Paul Gordon and Sam Caird. This is a new up-dated version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol entitled Little Miss Scrooge. It was previewed at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, California in December 2012 and will have its first full productions in the winter seasons of 2013-14.
Caird’s television work includes his own adaptation of Shakespeare’s plays Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 for the BBC’s performance series in 1995, starring David Calder, Ronald Pickup, Rufus Sewell, Jonathan Firth, Elizabeth Spriggs, Simon McBurney, Jane Horrocks and Paul Eddington amongst others.
Many of his theatrical productions have also been televised: Nicholas Nickleby directed by Jim Goddard for Primetime Television in 1982 won an Emmy Award for outstanding limited series. Swedish TV have screend As You Like It and Dödsdansen. WOWOW Television in Japan have screened both Jane Eyre and The Beggar’s Opera while NHK have screened Kinshu.
Caird also devised and directed (with Paul Robertson, the leader of the Medici String Quartet) Intimate Letters, a series of dramatised concerts based on the chamber-works and letters of Janáček, Smetana, Mozart, Elgar and Beethoven.
In 2001 he set up the Caird Company with Holly Kendrick to encourage young playwrights and directors. The company produced a number of rehearsed play-reading festivals in fringe theatres and rehearsal spaces all around London, organized writing and directing workshops and seminars and produced Theatre Café, a festival of European Theatre at the Arcola Theatre, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, a verbatim play by Robin Soans at the Gate Theatre and the Lemon Princess by Rachel McGill for West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Caird directed a production of the melodrama, Murder in the Red Barn for marionette puppets, as a fund-raiser to save the Tiller-Clowes Marionettes for the nation at the Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, starring Joanna Lumley, Gary Kemp, Bill Nighy and others.
For the 25th anniversary of the National Theatre, Caird directed the NT ‘Chain Play’, a drama written in 25 consecutive scenes by 25 NT dramatists, a mad and wonderful event.
In 2005 Caird wrote and directed Twin Spirits, a dramatised concert based on the music and letters of Robert and Clara Schumann, in aid of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden's educational outreach programme. It was produced by June Chichester and starred amongst others Sting, Trudie Styler, Ian McKellen, Simon Keenlyside and Rebecca Evans. Since then it has played at numerous venues in Europe and America, always for charitable causes - at the New Victory Theater on Broadway in aid of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, at Windsor Castle in aid of the Prince's Trust and the Soil Association, at Salisbury Cathedral in aid of the Choir Foundation, at the Cortona Festival in Tuscany in aid of the Mustardseed Trust and at the Lincoln Center in New York and at the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles in aid of Music Unites. The performers for these venues have included Derek Jacobi, Joshua Bell, Natasha Paremski, Natalie Clein, Jonathan Pryce, Jeremy Denk and John Lithgow. The concert was televised by Opus Arte at the Royal Opera House and is now available on DVD.
Caird has been married four times and has four sons and four daughters. His first marriage was to Helen Brammer in Oxford in 1970. His second was to Ann Dorszynski (Annie Caird) in Finsbury, London in 1982. They have three children: Joanna (Jo) (born 29 January 1983), Benjamin (Ben) (born 10 October 1984) and Samuel (Sam) (born 8 July 1987). His third was to Frances Ruffelle in 1990, in Westminster, London. They have two children: Eliza (born 15 April 1988), who has become successful as a singer under the stage name Eliza Doolittle, and Nathaniel (Nat) (born 17 June 1990). His fourth was to Maoko Imai in Argiano, Italy in 1998. They have three children: Yoji (born 19 October 1998), Miyako (Mimi) (born 18 January 2000 and Yayako (Yaya) (born 14 March 2002).
His elder brother James is an architect, town planner and heritage consultant. His younger brother George (Geordie) is an oboist and Principal Emeritus of the Birmingham Conservatoire. His sister Dr. Margaret (Meg) Laing is Research Fellow in Mediaeval Dialectology at the University of Edinburgh.
Caird is an Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru) and has an Honorary D.Litt from the University of East Anglia. He is also a Trustee Director of Highgate Cemetery Trust.
1977: Dance of Death (Other Place, Warehouse & Aldwych, London 1978)
1978: Savage Amusement (Warehouse)
1978: Look Out! Here Comes Trouble (Warehouse)
1978: The Adventures of Awful Knawful (Warehouse)
1979: Merry Wives of Windsor (Stratford & Aldwych, 1980)
1979: Caucasian Chalk Circle (Touring & Warehouse Theatre)
1980: The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Aldwych 1980-1)
1981: Naked Robots (Warehouse)
1981: The Twin Rivals (Other Place & The Pit Theatre, London, 1982)
1982: Song and Dance (Palace Theatre, London)
1982: Our Friends in the North (Other Place, The Pit Theatre, London)
1983: Twelfth Night (Stratford)
1984: Romeo and Juliet (Touring, The Other Place & The Pit 1985-6)
1984: The Merchant of Venice (Stratford)
1984: Red Star (The Pit, London)
1984: As You Like It (Som Ni Vill Ha Det) (Stadsteatern, Stockholm)
1984: Nicholas Nickleby (Stratford & Ahmanson Theatre LA & Broadway)
1985: Les Misérables (Barbican, Palace Theatre & Broadway 1986)
1985: Philistines (Other Place & The Pit Theatre, London, 1986)
1986: Misalliance (Barbican)
1987: The New Inn (The Swan)
1987: Les Misérables (Imperial Theatre, Tokyo)
1988: A Question of Geography (Other Place & The Pit, London)
1989: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Stratford & Barbican & UK Tour, 1990)
1989: As You Like It (Stratford & Barbican,1990).
1990: Siegfried and Roy Spectacular (Le Mirage, Las Vegas, USA)
1991: Zaïde (Musica nel Chiostro, Batignano, Italy)
1991: Children of Eden (Prince Edward Theatre, London)
1992: Anthony and Cleopatra (Stratford & Barbican, 1993)
1992: Columbus and the Discovery of Japan by Richard Nelson (Barbican)
1992: The Beggar’s Opera (Swan Theatre & Barbican,1993)
1993: Life Sentences (Second Stage Theatre, Broadway, NY)
1995 The Millionairess (UK Tour)
1999: Money (Olivier Theatre, RNT)
2000: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (En midsommarnattsdröm) (Dramaten)
2002: What the Night is For (Comedy Theatre, London)
2005: Twin Spirits (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden)
2007: Kinshu (Galaxy Theatre,Tokyo)
2008: Private Lives (Shiseikatsu) (Theatre Crié, Tokyo)
2009: Merry Wives of Windsor (Muntra fruarna i Windsor) (Dramaten)
2009: Daddy Long Legs (Rubicon Theatre, Ventura, California)
2009: Kinshu (Galaxy Theatre, Tokyo & Japanese tour)
2010: Candide (Imperial Theatre, Tokyo)
2010: Daddy Long Legs (US Tour)
2012: Daddy Long Legs (Theatre Crié, Tokyo)
2012: La Bohème (Houston Grand Opera)
2012: Daddy Long Legs (London)
2012: Little Miss Scrooge (Rubicon Theatre, Ventura, California)
2013: Tosca (LA Opera)
Les Misérables, First Night Records, 1985 (& numerous further cast recordings worldwide.)
Children of Eden, First Night Records, 1991 (& RCA Victor/BMG 1998).
The Beggar’s Opera, London Records, 1992.
Jane Eyre, Angel Records, 1998 (& Sony Music Entertainment 2000).
Candide, RNT & First Night Records, 2000.
Daddy Long Legs (Paul Gordon Music) 2010
1994 Laurence Olivier Award (Nomination) for Best Director of a Musical for The Beggar's Opera
1994 Laurence Olivier Award (Nomination) for Best Musical Revival for The Beggar's Opera
1997 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Play for Stanley.
1997 Tony Award (Nomination) for Best Direction of a Play for Stanley
2001 Outer Critics Circle Award (Nomination) Outstanding Broadway Musical for Jane Eyre
2001 Tony Award (Nomination) for Best Musical for Jane Eyre
2001 Tony Award (Nomination) for Best Original Score for Jane Eyre
2001 Tony Award (Nomination) for Best Book of a Musical for Jane Eyre
2007 Kikuta Kazuo Theatre Award for Special Achievement in Japanese Theatre
2010 LA Ovation Award (Nomination) for Director of a Musical for Daddy Long Legs
2010 LA Ovation Award for Book of a Musical for Daddy Long Legs