4 May 1984
|Education||BA, Film and Theatre|
|Alma mater||University of Reading|
Atkinson was educated at the University of Reading, where he read Film & Theatre.
In 2007 Atkinson co-founded and became artistic director of HighTide Theatre, which became quickly established as one of the UK's preeminent producing theatre of new playwrights and new plays.
In his opening season he produced Adam Brace's Stovepipe, which transferred from the HighTide Festival to London with the National Theatre and Bush Theatre. Stovepipe was critically acclaimed, receiving numerous five star reviews and being called 'a five-star production in its power and ambition' by The Sunday Times and 'exhilaratingly convincing' by The Independent. The play was named at Number 10 in The Times Best Theatre Productions of the Decade and it was nominated for Best Off-West End Production in the Whatsonstage awards. In that season he also produced Joel Horwood's I Caught Crabs In Walberswick, which transferred from the HighTide Festival to the Edinburgh Festival and the Bush Theatre, and Switzerland, the first play of Nick Payne who then went on to win the George Devine award.
Atkinson directed the multi-award winning play Lidless, first at the HighTide Festival, then at the Edinburgh Festival where it won a Fringe First Award, and in 2011 at Trafalgar Studios in London's West End. The play was acclaimed by reviewers, with Mark Fisher of The Scotsman commenting:
If Henrik Ibsen had been alive in the era of Guantanamo, he'd surely have written a play every bit as scintillating as Lidless.... From Steven Atkinson's hot-house production, a superb play is given a stunningly good production.
In 2011, Atkinson commissioned and directed the first play by Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Incoming. The play premiered in May 2011 at the HighTide Festival and then transferred to the Latitude Festival, being called 'particularly striking new work' by the Evening Standard and 'Motion’s first play clearly demonstrates his aptitude as a playwright' by The Stage
In 2012, Atkinson announced a much-increased HighTide Festival 2012 with eighteen productions, up from the historic four. Ella Hickson's Boys toured the UK, including London's Soho Theatre co-produced with Headlong Theatre. Critics commented on how contemporary the production was, with Paul Taylor of The Independent commenting:
It powerfully captures the mood of a generation and addresses permanent truths with exhilarating flair.
In September 2012 Mudlarks will open at London's Bush Theatre, marking his third production at the prestigious new-writing venue. Mudlarks premiered at the HighTide Festival 2012 before transferring to London's Theatre 503 in Battersea.
In 2013 Atkinson directed the widely praised "Bottleneck" at the Soho Theatre by young writer Luke Barnes:
Luke Barnes, 24, captures the voice of Britain’s youth with wit and compassion. He emerges from this year’s Fringe as a red-hot writing talent to watch.
Also in 2013 he directed the provocative', new American play "Neighbors" by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins which addressed issues around racial stereotyping and tensions in 'bi-racial' suburban America.
In response to Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova going on a self-imposed hunger strike, HighTide staged a performance of Tolokonnikova's writings, first at the Bush Theatre and the following year at the Southbank Centre.
In 2014 Steven Atkinson collaborated by former Harry Potter actor Harry Melling to stage his debut play Off Broadway, which was highly acclaimed.
As keenly directed by Steven Atkinson, the actor is completely magnetic.
Atkinson has twice been awarded by The Society of London Theatre with their Emerging Producers' Bursary for Stovepipe and Lidless. In 2009 he was awarded by Esquire magazine as one of the 60 Brilliant Brits Shaping 2009.
Awards and nominations
|2009||Society of London Theatre New Producers' Award||Stovepipe||Won|
|2009||Whatsonstage Award for Best Off West End Production||Stovepipe||Nominated|
|2010||Fringe First Award||Lidless||Won|
|2011||Society of London Theatre New Producers' Award||Lidless||Won|
|2012||Fringe First Award||Educating Ronnie||Won|
- Lidless & Hickson's Talent Next up for Trafalgar 2 - Lidless at Trafalgar Studios (previously the Whitehall) - London - News - Whatsonstage.com
- The Stage / News / Hull Truck expands senior team before £13.8m move
- The Stage / News / Hull Truck launches new playwriting festival
- Stovepipe, West 12 Shopping Centre, London
Over There, Royal Court Downstairs, London
Berlin Hanover Express, Hampstead, London - Reviews, Theatre & Dance - The Indepe...
- Bush Theatre Archived 23 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- HighTide: Lidless Reviews Archived 23 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Lidless Review", The Scotsman, 2011
- Home - Old Vic Tunnels
- Latitude, Henham Park - review | Music Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Stage / Reviews / Latitude
- "Arts Council's budget cut by 30%". BBC News. 20 October 2010.
- Higgins, Charlotte (30 March 2011). "Arts Council England funding cuts – the great axe falls". The Guardian. London.
- Taylor, Paul (6 June 2012), "Boys Review", The Independent, London
- Jones, Alice (21 August 2012), "Bottleneck Review", The Independent, London
- "Actors to wear blackface for 'hackle-raising' new play". Guardian. 4 January 2013.
- Clark, Jason (1 May 2014), "peddling Review", Entertainment Weekly, New York
- BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Afternoon Play, The Afghan and the Penguin
- The National Student Drama Festival