Dominic Dromgoole

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Dominic Dromgoole (born 25 October 1963)[1] is an English theatre director and writer about the theatre who has recently begun to work in film.[2] He lives in Hackney with his three daughters and partner Sasha Hails.[3]

Early life[edit]

He is the son of an actress turned schoolteacher, Jenny Davis, and of Patrick Dromgoole, a theatre director and television executive, whose directing credits included the first production of Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Born in Bristol, Dromgoole grew up on a farm in Somerset and attended Millfield School in Street, Somerset. His sister is theatre and radio director Jessica Dromgoole and his brother is Sean Dromgoole, the Labour candidate for Somerton and Frome in the 2017 general election.[4]. When he was 16, he formed his own theatre company which took shows to the Edinburgh festival and toured them round the south-west. He studied English and Classics at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where he directed student productions and graduated in 1985.[1]


Six months after graduating from Cambridge, Dromgoole started working part-time as an assistant director at the Bush Theatre, London. In 1990 he became artistic director of the Bush, and stayed there until 1996. During this time, he premiered 65 new plays including early works by Billy Roche, Philip Ridley, Catherine Johnson, Sebastian Barry, Jonathan Harvey, Simon Bent, Naomi Wallace, Irvine Welsh, David Harrower, Samuel Adamson and Conor McPherson, and the original production of Helen Edmundson's The Clearing in 1993.[5][6]

After a period in charge of new plays for Sir Peter Hall's company at the Old Vic, he ran the Oxford Stage Company from 1999 until 2005.[7] His directing credits during this time included Troilus and Cressida, 50 Revolutions, Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters, Rookery Nook by Ben Travers and August Strindberg's Easter.

In 2005, he took over from Mark Rylance as artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe.[8] In 2008, he signed a new three-year contract to continue in the role until 2011.[9] At the Globe, he directed Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra for the 2006 season, Love's Labour's Lost for the 2007 season, King Lear in 2008, Romeo and Juliet and the new play A New World by Trevor Griffiths in 2009, Henry IV Part I and Henry IV Part II in 2010, a touring production of Hamlet in 2011, Henry V in 2012 and Gabriel by Samuel Adamson with Alison Balson in 2013.[10] In January 2014 he directed The Duchess of Malfi, the opening production at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (the Globe's indoor counterpart).[11] Between these two spaces Dromgoole then went on to direct: Julius Caesar in 2014, The Changeling and Romeo and Juliet again and Measure for Measure in 2015, Pericles and his final production The Tempest in 2016. In 2012, he also organised the olympic theatre festival Globe to Globe, where 38 companies from around the world each brought one of Shakespeare's plays staged in their own language to The Globe stage. This inspired the Globe to Globe tour of Hamlet, directed by Dromgoole in 2016, which toured to 197 countries around the world, and is the subject for Dromgoole's second book.[12][13] July 2013, Shakespeare's Globe announced that Dromgoole would leave the post in April 2016. He was replaced by Emma Rice[14][15] Following his departure from the Globe two of his productions, Farinelli and Nell Gwynn transferred to the West End.

His other directing credits include revivals of Someone Who'll Watch Over Me at the New Ambassadors Theatre in London, Noël Coward's Present Laughter, with Rik Mayall, George Bernard Shaw's John Bull's Other Island at London's Tricycle Theatre, and Eric Schlosser's Americans at the Arcola Theatre. He has also directed plays in the US and Romania.[16]

Since leaving Shakespeare's Globe, Dromgoole has set up Open Palm films, for which he directed Making Noise Quietly by Robert Holman[17] and produced four further films 'Benjamin[18] written and directed by Simon Amstell, Pond Life, Undercliffe and The Thin Man. Dromgoole also founded the Classic Spring theatre company, which presented a season of Oscar Wilde plays at The Vaudeville Theatre, where he directed A Woman of No Importance in 2017.[19]


In 2000, his book The Full Room: An A-Z of Contemporary Playwriting provided a personal survey of contemporary British playwriting. In 2006, Will and Me: How Shakespeare Took Over My Life charted his fascination with William Shakespeare, and won the inaugural Sheridan Morley award. Dromgoole has also contributed to The New Statesman, The Sunday Times and other publications.[20] In 2017 his book Hamlet Globe to Globe, recounted experiences from the global tour of Hamlet.[21]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b DROMGOOLE, Dominic Charles Fleming, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
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  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Taylor, Paul (16 January 2014). "The Duchess of Malfi, theatre review". The Independent. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
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  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ Gareth Vipers, New Shakespeare's Globe artistic director named as Emma Rice, London Evening Standard, 1 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Benjamin review – Simon Amstell's barbed wit shines". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  19. ^ "Dominic Dromgoole Launches New Theatre Company". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  20. ^ [5]
  21. ^