Adam Spreadbury-Maher

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Adam Spreadbury-Maher
Born Australia
Occupation Theatre director, producer and writer

Adam Spreadbury-Maher is an Australian/Irish theatre artistic director, producer and writer. He is the founding Artistic Director of the Cock Tavern Theatre[1], OperaUpClose[2] and The Hope Theatre[3], and is the current artistic director of the King's Head Theatre[4]. Spreadbury-Maher introduced the first unionised pay agreement for actors in a pub-theatre in 2011, and in 2017 introduced the first fringe creative pay agreement and gender policy[5].

Biography[edit]

Spreadbury-Maher was born in Australia. He received his initial training as an opera singer at the Canberra School of Music. His debut directorial production of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing won Spreadbury-Maher an Australian Critics’ Circle Award in 2004.[6] In 2005 Adam moved to the UK, and attended London's Central School of Speech and Drama before making his London directing debut at White Bear Theatre, directing three critically successful shows as the theatre’s Associate Director, including the two world premieres The Ides of March[7] by Duncan Ley and "Studies for a Portrait"[8] by Daniel Reitz. Studies for a Portrait transferred to the Oval House Theatre[9] following its critics' choice sell-out run at the White Bear Theatre.[10] In 2008 Spreadbury-Maher directed Australian actor Mark Little in a production of Così by Louis Nowra[6]. Other early notable productions include the first UK revival of Peter Gill’s The York Realist, presented at Riverside Studios to mark Gill’s 70th birthday.[11]

In 2010, Spreadbury-Maher was Associate Director on the UK premiere of the multi-award-winning Holding the Man, adapted by Tommy Murphy and based on the novel by Timothy Conigrave.[12] Further 2010 directing work included the UK premiere of Hannie Rayson's landmark Australian play Hotel Sorrento,[13] the rarely revived first play of Peter Gill’s The Sleepers Den,[14] the world premiere of Edward Bond's There Will Be More[15], and ended 2010 with his operatic directing debut in a new version of "Madama Butterfly" retitled “Bangkok Butterfly”, which he adapted into English for OperaUpClose. The production ran for four months at King's Head Theatre, garnishing critical notice from Fiona Maddocks in The Observer, “Madam Butterfly has been updated to Bangkok Butterfly to chilling effect... full of promise and musically intelligent.”[16] and Michael Tanner in The Spectator, "Beautiful and sexy... the evening was a powerful one".[17]

King’s Head Theatre[edit]

In March 2010, Spreadbury-Maher was appointed Artistic Director of King's Head Theatre[18]. Spreadbury-Maher has transferred work from the King's Head Theatre to the West End[19][20][21], Australia[22] and Off-Broadway[23]. In 2011 he introduced the first unionised pay agreement for actors in an unfunded pub theatre[24], which was followed by the first creatives pay agreement and gender policy in 2017[25].

Cock Tavern Theatre & OperaUpClose[edit]

In 2009, Adam founded the Cock Tavern Theatre[26] and OperaUpClose[27], becoming the company's founding Artistic Director. Under his leadership the theatre followed a strict artistic policy of staging only world premiers and revivals from world class playwrights and composers, a strategy which saw the theatre praised for its imaginative programming and quality productions.[28] At the Cock Tavern Theatre, Adam directed revivals by Stephen Fry, Nick Ward, Hannie Rayson and produced a six-decade retrospective season of work by Edward Bond, including London, UK and World premieres, and a production of The Fool directed by Bond himself[29][30].

December 2009 saw Spreadbury-Maher form OperaUpClose with the aim of bringing opera to a wider audience by producing new, classic and difficult pieces which have so far been neglected or previously inaccessible.[31] Adam, alongside Ben Cooper, produced La Boheme, directed by Robin Norton Hale, which was extended at Cock Tavern Theatre for six months following a sell-out run and significant critical acclaim, and which had a six-week sell-out season in July, 2011, at the Soho Theatre, and returned for a further six-week season in January 2011.[32] The production represents the longest running continuously performed La Bohème in its history.[33] Spreadbury-Maher appointed OperaUpClose his resident company when he took over as Artistic Director of the King's Head Theatre in 2010, producing regularly from the Islington base, including a landmark production of Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea directed in a new version by Mark Ravenhill with additional musical material by Michael Nyman; the production was awarded five-stars by London's Evening Standard and starred Rebecca Caine[34]. Spreadbury-Maher directed new productions of A Masked Ball and Tosca for OperaUpClose (in his own new English versions) the latter in a co-production with Malmö Opera, which transferred to London's Soho Theatre[35]. His Artistic Directorship of OperaUpClose ended in January 2013.

Spreadbury-Maher was awarded the Fringe Report Award 2010 for Best Artistic Director as recognition of the success at the Cock. Mark Shenton of The Stage awarded The Cock Tavern the Dan Crawford Peter Brook Award in 2009, nine months after being opened by Spreadbury-Maher. The venue permanently closed in April 2011 following a council inspection which revealed the lack of the correct performance license[36].

Hope Theatre[edit]

Spreadbury-Maher founded the Hope Theatre in October 2013 on the first floor of the historic Hope and Anchor in Islington, a short distance from the King's Head Theatre. The 50-seat theatre was set up as an experiment to demonstrate that actors could be paid in smaller fringe spaces[37], and was the first off-West End venue to open with an Equity agreement[38]. During his time as Artistic Director, Spreadbury programmed the first production of Ushers the Front of House Musical which later transferred to the Arts Theatre[39]. His last production as Artistic Director was the world premiere of Joe Orton's first play Fred & Madge, directed by his former assistant and protege Mary Franklin[40]. Adam's tenure as Artistic Director earned him a place on The Stage newspaper's coveted Stage 100 list[41]. The Hope Theatre continues to operate and has maintained Spreadbury's founding policy of paying actors and stage management at all times[42].

Awards[edit]

Winner[edit]

Nominations[edit]

Work[edit]

As a director[edit]

Theatre - artistic director[edit]

  • Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams (14 August 2012 – 1 September 2012) Charing Cross Theatre, London[73]
  • Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams (10 July 2012 – 4 August 2012) King's Head Theatre, London
  • Someone to Blame by Tess Berry-Hart (6 March 2012 – 31 March 2012) King's Head Theatre, London
  • Così by Louis Nowra (19 June 2011 – 13 July 2011) King's Head Theatre, London
  • A Cavalier for Milady by Tennessee Williams (7 June 2011 – 25 June 2011) Jermyn Street Theatre, London
  • A Butcher of Distinction by Rob Hayes (3–5 April 2011) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • A Cavalier for Milady by Tennessee Williams (29 March 2011 – 1 April 2011) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • I Never Get Dressed Till After Dark on Sundays by Tennessee Williams (1–26 March 2011) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • Judith: A Parting from the Body by Howard Barker (7–26 February 2011) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • It's Raining in Barcelona by Pau Miró (9 January 2011 – 29 January 2011) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • Subs by R. J. Purdy (4 January 2011 – 29 January 2011) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • Pins and Needles by Harold Rome (16 November – 11 December 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London[74]
  • Over Gardens Out by Peter Gill (19 October 2010 – 6 November 2010) Riveside Studios, London
  • The Sleepers Den by Peter Gill (27 September 2010 – 16 October 2010) Riverside Studios, London
  • Red, Black and Ignorant by Edward Bond (31 October – 13 November 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • There Will Be More by Edward Bond (26 October – 13 November 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • The Fool by Edward Bond (10–23 October 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • The Under Room by Edward Bond (5–24 October 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • The Pope's Wedding by Edward Bond (19 September – 2 October 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • Olly's Prison by Edward Bond (14 September – 2 October 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • Hotel Sorrento by Hannie Rayson (17 August 2010 – 11 September 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • Subs by R. J. Purdy (25 July 2010 – 7 September 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • A Stretch of the Imagination by Jack Hibberd (16 June 2010 – 17 July 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • Swing by Jamie Harper and Dan Muirden (23 May 2010 – 12 June 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • A Model for Mankind by James Sheldon (27 March 2010 – 17 April 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • Nightsongs by Jon Fosse (30 January 2010 – 20 February 2010) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • The York Realist by Peter Gill (23 September 2009 – 11 October 2009) Riverside Studios, London
  • Brooklyn by Rose Martula (8 September 2009 – 26 September 2009) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • Last Drinks by Duncan Ley (23 June 2009 – 11 July 2009) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London
  • The Backroom by Adrian Pagan (12 March 2009 – 11 April 2009) The Cock Tavern Theatre, London

Opera - artistic director[edit]

As a translator[edit]

  • Tosca by Giacomo Puccini (2 October 2012 – 10 November 2012) King's Head Theatre, London
  • Tosca composed by Giacomo Puccini (8 September 2012 – 2 December 2012) Malmö Opera House, Sweden
  • Madama Butterfly (or Bangkok Butterfly) composed by Giacomo Puccini (11 December 2010 – 30 March 2011) King's Head Theatre, London

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2011/apr/12/fringe-cock-tavern-theatre-homeless
  2. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/dec/03/operaupclose-puccini-pub
  3. ^ https://londonist.com/2013/11/new-writing-and-new-ethics-at-the-new-hope-theatre
  4. ^ http://www.playbill.com/article/londons-kings-head-theatre-appoints-adam-spreadbury-maher-as-new-artistic-director-com-166377
  5. ^ https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2017/londons-kings-head-extends-flat-rate-pay-creative-teams/
  6. ^ a b GaydarNation. Rainbownetwork.com. Retrieved on 28 January 2011.
  7. ^ "The Ides of March at White Bear Theatre - Fringe - Time Out London". Timeout.com. 2008-12-21. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  8. ^ "Studies for a Portrait at White Bear Theatre - Fringe - Time Out London". Timeout.com. 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  9. ^ "Studies For A Portrait > In our Theatre > Oval House Theatre". 2011-10-03. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  10. ^ Studies for a Portrait Reviews at The King's Head Theatre – London. Whatsonstage.com (13 April 2010). Retrieved on 28 January 2011.
  11. ^ The York Realist at Riverside Studios – Off-West End – Time Out London. Timeout.com (1 October 2009). Retrieved on 28 January 2011.
  12. ^ Cast & Creative. Holding The Man. Retrieved on 28 January 2011.
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  22. ^ Cuthbertson, Debbie (2017-03-20). "Trainspotting Live: The things that splatter". The Age. Retrieved 2017-07-29. 
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  29. ^ "Kilburn's Cock Tavern Hosts Edward Bond Season". WhatsOnStage.com. Retrieved 2017-07-29. 
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  39. ^ "Ushers The Front of House Musical Arts Theatre London". www.officialtheatre.com. Retrieved 2017-07-29. 
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  50. ^ https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/theatre-strangers-in-between-at-kings-head-theatre-n1-mf3hzdhg0
  51. ^ https://www.londontheatre1.com/news/98576/trainspotting-kings-head-theatre-2015-season/
  52. ^ http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2014/05/02/dead-party-animals-at-the-hope-theatre-review/
  53. ^ https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a-tale-of-two-cities-at-kings-head-n1-rxslxn2nw36
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  69. ^ https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/the-ides-of-march
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External links[edit]