Jez Bond

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Jez Bond
Jez Bond theatre director 2013.jpg
Born 1978
Kingston
Nationality British
Occupation Theatre director

Jez Bond (born 1978) is a British theatre director. One of the cohort of artistic directors born in the 1960s and 70s who are now running significant UK theatres, he opened the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, London in 2013.[1][2][3]

Influences and theatre education[edit]

Jeremy “Jez” Bond was born in Surrey, England.[4][5] His early interest in the stage was sparked by his father, who took him to see a wide range of productions both in London and in regional theatres. He gained practical experience as a teenager at Oundle School, Northamptonshire, whose students are given wide opportunities to run the local Stahl Theatre. As well as learning to build sets and rig lights and sound, Bond was given responsibility for letting touring companies such as the National Theatre into the building, allowing him to become acquainted with many theatre professionals.[6] He finished his secondary studies at Dulwich School, where he gained further extra-curricular experience at the Edward Alleyn Theatre. He later completed a BA (Hons) in Drama from Hull University.

Early career[edit]

Bond initially worked for Finsbury Park-based Y Touring Theatre Company, managing and co-directing touring plays in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2002 he co-founded Stages International with Charles J. Fourie, directing Fourie’s Big Boys at the Croydon Warehouse.[7] In 2005, Bond was awarded a residency under the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme[8] at the Watford Palace Theatre where he directed J.B. Priestly’s I Have Been Here Before[9] and was assistant director to Lawrence Till on several plays. As a freelance director, his productions included Sleeping Beauty at Salisbury Playhouse,[10] Brenda Gottsche's The Max Factor at the Baron’s Court Theatre, London, and Roald Dahl's The Twits which toured in Switzerland.[11]

Park Theatre[edit]

Jez Bond and the late Alan Rickman pictured on the roof of Park Theatre while it was still under construction in 2012
Bond with the late Alan Rickman on the roof of Park Theatre during construction period in 2012

While at Hull University, Bond met Melli Marie, an American actor studying for an MA in theatre. The two conceived a plan to create a new theatre, and began scouting possible sites and funding sources. In 2010, they were able to put a down payment on a disused building near Finsbury Park station and begin its conversion into a theatre containing two auditoria of 200 and 90 seats. Following a high-profile fundraising campaign,[12] Park Theatre opened in May 2013, earning Bond the accolade of "an entrepreneur in the Victorian style, a self-made theatrical industrialist who builds things from the ground up."[13]

The majority of plays produced at the theatre to date (approaching 100 at the end of 2016) have been financed by external production companies, with Park Theatre acting as the host venue. In 2015, Park Theatre won The Stage magazine's Fringe Theatre of the Year Award.[14]

In the theatre’s first season, Bond directed a new play by Sarah Rutherford, Adult Supervision,[15] and a Christmas “anti-panto”, Sleeping Beauty, which he wrote with actor Mark Cameron. Bond also directed the 2014 and 2015 Christmas shows, Jack and the Beanstock and Rapunzel, both co-written with Cameron. In May 2015, Bond directed Hurling Rubble at the Moon, one segment of Avaes Mohammad's double bill about radicalization in the UK.[16]

In April 2017 Bond directed Miriam Margolyes in the world premiere of John Misto’s Madame Rubenstein, based on the story of cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein.[17] Bond will direct Ian McKellen's one-man show, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You, a fundraiser for the theatre that will run for nine performances in July 2017.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Power 1000 - London's most influential people 2013: Imagineers, Theatre". Evening Standard. 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  2. ^ Dickson, Andrew (2013-02-17). "Meet the new guard running British theatre". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  3. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (2013-05-02). "Jez Bond: 'Does London need another theatre?'". Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  4. ^ Companies House. "Park Theatre Productions Ltd - Officers". Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  5. ^ "BOND, Jeremy Viktor, (Jez)". : Who's Who 2016. 2016. Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  6. ^ Bond, Jez (2015-10-13). "Jez Bond: These are my theatre heroes". The Stage. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  7. ^ Paul Nelson (2002). "Unflinching boys' tale is practically perfect". www.indielondon.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-23. 
  8. ^ RTYDS. "Directors, alumni and past participants". Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme - RTYDS. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  9. ^ Martin, Mike (2005-03-30). "I Have Been Here Before review at Palace Watford". The Stage. Retrieved 2017-03-08. 
  10. ^ Kevin Catchpole (2006-01-01). "Sleeping Beauty". British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  11. ^ Tripney, Natasha (2007-05-10). "The Max Factor review at Barons Court London". The Stage. Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  12. ^ "New Park Theatre hits fundraising target thanks to a little help from acting stars". Islington Tribune. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2017-03-08. 
  13. ^ Bayes, Honour (2015-03-22). "The Big Interview: Jez Bond". The Stage. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  14. ^ Hemley, Matthew (2015-01-30). "Sonia Friedman, Young Vic and Southampton's Nuffield triumph at Stage Awards 2015". The Stage. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  15. ^ Charles Spencer (2013-10-11). "Adult Supervision, Park Theatre, review". Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  16. ^ Rachel Halliburton (2015-05-20). "Hurling Rubble at the Moon & Hurling Rubble at the Sun". Time Out London. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  17. ^ Daisy Bowie-Sell (2016-10-31). "Miriam Margolyes to star in Park Theatre's new season". WhatsOnStage.com. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  18. ^ Jack Shepherd (2017-03-23). "Sir Ian McKellen to play Gandalf again". The Independent. Retrieved 2017-04-14.