Richard Charles Hastings Eyre
28 March 1943
|Awards||Drama Desk Awards:|
Outstanding Director of a Play
Teddy Audience Award 2006:
Notes on a Scandal
Sir Richard Charles Hastings Eyre(born 28 March 1943) is an English film, theatre, television and opera director.
Eyre became the first president of Rose Bruford College in July 2010. He gives "President's Lectures" at this prestigious drama school; his 2012 talk was entitled "Directing Shakespeare for BBC Television". He lives in Brook Green, West London.
Theatre and opera
Eyre was Associate Director at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh from 1967 to 1972. He won STV Awards for the Best Production in Scotland in 1969, 1970 and 1971. He was artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse from 1973–78 where he commissioned and directed many new plays, including Trevor Griffiths' Comedians.
Eyre was director of the UK's National Theatre (which gained the now little-used prefix Royal during his time there) between 1987 and 1997. He had previously directed a noted revival of Guys and Dolls for the venue in 1982, with Olivier Award-winner Julia McKenzie and Bob Hoskins. He repeated this production in 1996 with Imelda Staunton and Joanna Riding. His diaries from his time at the National have been published as National Service, winning the 2003 Theatre Book Prize.
Other than Guys and Dolls, his most noted theatre productions include Hamlet (twice), with Jonathan Pryce at the Royal Court in 1980 and Daniel Day-Lewis in 1989; Richard III with Ian McKellen; King Lear with Ian Holm; Tennessee Williams' The Night of the Iguana and Sweet Bird of Youth; Eduardo De Filippo's Napoli Milionaria and Le Grande Magia; Henrik Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman with Paul Scofield, Vanessa Redgrave and Eileen Atkins; Ibsen's Hedda Gabler with Eve Best; and numerous new plays by David Hare, Tom Stoppard, Trevor Griffiths, Howard Brenton, Alan Bennett, Christopher Hampton and Nicholas Wright.
Eyre has also directed operas. His debut was the 1994 production of La traviata at the Royal Opera House which starred Angela Gheorghiu and was conducted by Sir Georg Solti. This production was televised and has subsequently been released on video and DVD.
He directed the musical Mary Poppins in London and on Broadway. On 14 February 2007, Eyre's production of Nicholas Wright's The Reporter premiered at the Royal National Theatre, London. The play explores the social climate in the years before James Mossman's death as well as the reasons for the death itself.
Eyre directed a new production of Bizet's opera Carmen for the Metropolitan Opera's 2009/10 season, starring Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna. He returned to the Met for the 2013/14 season where he created and directed a new production of Jules Massenet's Werther with Jonas Kaufmann and Sophie Koch and returned to create and direct the 2014/15 season opening production, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro,.
Eyre was planning to direct Jon Robin Baitz's stage adaptation of Hollywood legend Robert Evans' memoirs The Kid Stays in the Picture and its sequel, The Fat Lady Sang, but the project was cancelled by the producer.
His production of Noël Coward's Private Lives starring Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross opened at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway in November 2011 following a run in Toronto. He directed The Dark Earth and The Light Sky for the Almeida Theatre, and The Pajama Game for the Chichester Festival Theatre.
Film and television
He directed The Ploughman's Lunch (written by Ian McEwan) in 1983, which won the Evening Standard Award for Best Film, Iris, a biographical film of writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch (starring Judi Dench, Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent), and Stage Beauty. Broadbent won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Iris, and Dench and Winslet were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.
Eyre was appointed to the Board of Governors of the BBC in November 1995, and in October 2000 was appointed for a second term of office, though he resigned early (with effect from 31 May 2003) due to theatre and film directing commitments.
In the late 2010s, Eyre directed the drama film The Children Act (2017), based on the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan and starring Emma Thompson, and the BBC Two television film King Lear, which was broadcast on 28 May 2018.
- The Cherry Orchard (1981)
- The Ploughman's Lunch (1983)
- Singleton's Pluck aka Laughterhouse (1984)
- Past Caring (TV - 1985)
- Loose Connections (1985)
- Tumbledown (BBC - 1988)
- Iris (2001)
- Stage Beauty (2004)
- Notes on a Scandal (2006)
- The Other Man (2008)
- The Dresser (BBC - 2015)
- The Children Act (2017)
- King Lear (TV - 2018)
He has been the recipient of numerous directing awards including five Olivier Awards. In 1982 he won the Evening Standard Award for Best Director, for Guys and Dolls, and in 1997 for King Lear and Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love. In 1997 he won an Olivier Lifetime Achievement Award, and awards from The Directors' Guild of Great Britain, the South Bank Show, the Evening Standard and the Critics' Circle.
He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1992 New Year Honours, and knighted in the 1997 New Year Honours, receiving the honour on 4 March 1997. He became a Patron of the Alzheimer's Research Trust in 2001. He was made an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1998, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Nottingham on 10 July 2008.
- "Rose Bruford College Appoints its first President", Rose Bruford College
- "The President's Lecture 2012: Sir Richard Eyre on Directing Shakespeare for BBC Television". Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "James Levine's Figaro and The Met's Opening Night Make For a Bad Marriage" by James Jorden, The New York Observer, 24 September 2014
- "A Hollywood Player Inspires a Broadway Play" by Michael Cieply, The New York Times, 10 February 2010
- Haun, Harry "Plaibill on Opening Night: Private Lives – Keeping Up with the Chases" Archived 19 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Playbill, 18 November 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Prix Italia, Winners 1949 – 2010, RAI Archived 22 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Sir Richard Eyre to leave BBC Board of Governors", BBC Press Office. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- "Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston confirmed to play Henry IV and Henry V", BBC Media Centre, 5 October 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
- Ian McKellen, Alan Bates, Hugh Hudson, et al. For Ian Charleson: A Tribute. London: Constable and Company, 1990. pp. 119–124.
- "No. 52767". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1991. p. 8.
- "No. 54625". The London Gazette. 30 December 1996. pp. 1–2.
- "No. 55229". The London Gazette. 18 August 1998. p. 8993.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2013: how we chose the winners" – Best Director: Richard Eyre, by Libby Purves, London Evening Standard, 19 November 2013
- "No. 61803". The London Gazette (1st supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N27.