Benedict Andrews

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Benedict Andrews
  • Theatre director
  • Film director

Benedict Andrews is an Australian theatre director, based in Reykjavik.[1][2] Born in Adelaide in 1972, he was educated at Flinders University Drama Centre.[3] His first feature film Una (an adaption of Blackbird by David Harrower) will be released in 2016.[4]


Over the past decade, Andrews has built up his body of work for theatres in both Australia and Europe. He is known for his versions of works by Shakespeare,[5] Anton Chekhov,[6] Jean Genet.[7] and Tennessee Williams,[8] as well as his stagings of contemporary writers such as David Harrower, Martin Crimp,[9] Marius von Mayenburg,[10] Caryl Churchill[11] and Sarah Kane.[12]

Andrews' direction of Shakespeare has gained more critical acclaim and focus than any other Australian director of the early 21st century.[13] His marathon Shakespeare cycle, The War of the Roses (Sydney Theatre Company, 2009) which was a part of the 2009 Sydney and Perth festivals,[5] received six Helpmann Awards [14] in 2012 including Best Play and Best Direction of a Play, as well as five Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Direction and Best Mainstage Production. The two-night eight-hour The War of the Roses production incorporates all eight War of the Roses Shakespearean plays in name but largely cut out the Henrys, making it in large part a combination of both Richard II and Richard III.[15][16] The first night consisted of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V.[16] The second consisted of Henry VI and Richard III.[16] The production was also memorable for having his two female leads, Cate Blanchett and Pamela Rabe, play Richard II and Richard III, respectively, while still dressing in modern gender-neutral clothing.[16]

Andrews has been a regular guest at London’s Young Vic, Sydney Theatre Company (STC) and Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney, the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin, and the National Theatre of Iceland in Reykjavik. Key productions include his production of Chekhov' Three Sisters which won the Critics Theatre Award in 2012 for Best Director,[17] Groß und Klein[18] (STC, 2011) for which Andrews 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).

His production of Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire [8] (with Gillian Anderson and Ben Foster[19]) at London's Young Vic will open at St Ann's Warehouse, New York City in April 2016. His STC production of Jean Genet’s The Maids (with Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth Debicki and Isabelle Huppert) was played as part of the 2014 Lincoln Center Festival.[20]


Andrews also works extensively in opera. In autumn 2015, he opened La Boheme in London, a Dutch National Opera co-production with English National Opera. His prior ENO production, Detlev Glanert’s Caligula (2012) [21] 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, Andrews' theatrical adaptations include: The Maids (with Andrew Upton), Three Sisters,[22] The Seagull, The War Of The Roses (with Tom Wright) and Life is a Dream (with Beatrix Christian).

Andrews' 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.[23] The Portuguese production was nominated for Time Out Lisbon’s Best Play award.


Andrews' first volume of poetry, Lens Flare, was published in 2014 by Pitt Poetry.[24]

Notable productions[edit]


  1. ^ Profile in Real Time magazine.
  2. ^ Dow, Steve (31 August 2015). "Benedict Andrews returns to Australia with new play Gloria". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Júlia Marí Bernaus (2010-06-02). "Benedict Andrews". Benedict Andrews. Retrieved 2012-10-23. [dead link]
  4. ^ Variety, September 2015
  5. ^ a b The Spectator 21 January 2009
  6. ^ The Guardian, September 2012
  7. ^ New Yorker August 14
  8. ^ a b The Telegraph, Charles Spencer, July 2014
  9. ^ Sydney Theatre Magazine, September 2012
  10. ^ The Telegraph (Jane Shilling) October 2012
  11. ^ Sydney Theatre Magazine, June 215 (Archive 2004)
  12. ^ Billington, Michael, The Guardian March, 2005
  13. ^ Fotheringham, Richard; Smith, James (2013). Catching Australian Theatre in the 2000s. Rodopi. p. 184. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  14. ^ Helpmann Awards 2012
  15. ^ Fotheringham, Richard; Smith, James (2013). Catching Australian Theatre in the 2000s. Rodopi. p. 178. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c d Holland, Peter (2010). Shakespeare Survey: Volume 63, Shakespeare's English Histories and Their Afterlives. Cambridge University Press. p. 181. 
  17. ^ Critics Theatre Awards 2012
  18. ^ Ferguson, Euan, The Guardian, April 2012
  19. ^ Clapp, Susannah (2014-08-03). "A Streetcar Named Desire review – Gillian Anderson is utterly compelling". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-02-26. 
  20. ^ Variety, 9th August 2014
  21. ^ Opera Today, 4th June 2012
  22. ^ Three Sisters ISBN 9781849435031]
  23. ^ Australian Plays ISBN 9780868199290
  24. ^ Andrews, Benedict. Lens Flare. Pitt Street Poetry. ISBN 9781922080349. 

External links[edit]