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John Newport Caird (22 September 1948) is an English stage director and writer of plays, musicals and operas.

Biography

John Newport Caird (born 22 September 1948) is an English stage director and writer of plays, musicals and operas. He is an Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Principal Guest Director of the Royal Dramatic Theatremarker, Stockholm (Dramaten).

Early years

Caird was born in Edmontonmarker, Alberta, Canada to British subjects George Bradford Caird, Oxford theologian and Principal of Mansfield Collegemarker, Oxfordmarker and Viola Mary Newport, poet and librarian.

He lived in Montrealmarker until 1959 where he attended Selwyn House School. His family then moved to Oxfordmarker where he attended Magdalen College School from 1959-1967. He studied acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre Schoolmarker from 1967 to 1969.

His elder brother James is an architect, town planner and heritage consultant. His younger brother George (Geordie) is an oboist and Principal of the Birmingham Conservatoiremarker. His sister, Dr. Margaret (Meg) Laing is Research Fellow in Mediaeval Dialectology at the University of Edinburgh.

Caird worked as an actor and stage manager at various English repertory theatres and in London’s West End before embarking on his directorial career at Contact Theatremarker in Manchester in 1973.

Career

Theatre

Caird was an Associate Director of Contact Theatremarker for two years from 1973-1975 where he directed plays by Shakespeare, Chris Bond, John Osborne, James Saunders, Samuel Beckett, wrote and acted in Theatre in Education programmes for Manchester’s schools and prisons, and was an actor and musician in plays by Brecht, Goldoni and Jellicoe.

He then worked as a freelance director for various fringe theatre companies. For Sidewalk Theatre he directed Last Resort by Peter Flannery. For Avon Touring he directed Regina versus Stephens by the late David Illingworth.

Caird also taught for one semester at Ottawa University Drama Department, Canadamarker, where he directed The Changeling by Middleton and Rowley. In 1975, he founded, with Stephen Barlow and others, Circle of Muses - a touring music theatre troupe that took musical entertainments around classical music clubs in England and Wales.

In 1977 Caird joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as Assistant Director, becoming a Resident Director in December 1977 and an Associate Director in 1980.

From 1977-1990 Caird directed over 20 productions for the RSC including Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with Zoë Wanamaker, John Thaw, Daniel Massey and Emrys James, Romeo and Juliet with Daniel Day-Lewis, Amanda Root and Roger Allam, Midsummer Night’s Dream with John Carlisle, Clare Higgins and Richard McCabe, Merchant of Venice, As You Like It and Antony and Cleopatra.

At the RSC’s Swan Theatre he directed Ben Jonson’s comedies Every Man in His Humour with Simon Russell Beale, Henry Goodman and Pete Postlethwaite and the New Inn with John Carlisle and Fiona Shaw, the first night of this play being the second-ever professional performance since it first appeared in 1629. His last production at the Swan was his own new version of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera with music composed by Ilona Sekacz.

Caird’s other productions at the RSC included classic works by Farquhar, Shaw, Strindberg, Gorky and Brecht and world premières of plays by Peter Flannery, Jonathan Gems, Mary O'Malley, John Berger, Nella Bielski, Charles Wood and Richard Nelson.

At the RSC Caird also co-directed four productions with Trevor Nunn. The first was Merry Wives of Windsor in 1978 with Ben Kingsley, David Threlfall, and Timothy Spall. Next was Nicholas Nickleby in 1980, a nine-hour adaption from Dickens by David Edgar that ran for three separate seasons at the Aldwych Theatremarker and then transferred to the Plymouth Theatre on Broadwaymarker. Caird and Nunn then collaborated on a new version of J.M.Barrie’s Peter Pan, the first ever production of the play to use a male actor in the title role. The production ran for three consecutive seasons at the Barbican Theatremarker from 1982-1984 with Miles Anderson, Mark Rylance and John McAndrew all playing Peter. Lastly Les Misérables in 1985, a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil that was a co-production between the RSC and Cameron Mackintosh. It ran for eight weeks at the Barbican Theatremarker before transferring to the Palace Theatremarker in the West End, moving to the Queen’s Theatremarker in 2004 where it is still running. It opened at The Broadway Theatremarker in New Yorkmarker in 1987 and thereafter has played all over the world.

Caird started directing at London's Royal National Theatremarker in 1993 under the Artistic Directorship of Richard Eyre. His first production was Trelawney of the Wells with Helen McCrory and Robin Bailey. Chekhov’s The Seagull followed in 1994 in a new version by Pam Gems with Judi Dench, Helen McCrory and Bill Nighy. In 1996 he directed the world premiére of Pam Gems’ play Stanley based on the life of the English painter Stanley Spencer, with Anthony Sher in the title role. Stanley later transferred to the Circle in the Square Theatremarker on Broadwaymarker. He continued to direct plays at the National under the Artistic Directorship of Trevor Nunn with Peter Pan in 1997 starring Daniel Evans as Pan and Ian McKellen as Hook and, in the NT Ensemble season of 1999, Bulwer-Lytton’s Money and his own new version of the Voltaire/Bernstein Candide, both with Simon Russell Beale and the late Denis Quilley. In 2000, he again directed Simon Russell Beale, this time in Hamlet, a production that toured the UK and Europe, going to Elsinoremarker, Stockholm and Belgrade, before transferring to the Brooklyn Academy (BAM) in New York. Caird’s last production at the National Theatre was the world première of Humble Boy by Charlotte Jones, with Diana Rigg and Simon Russell Beale. The play transferred to the Gielgud Theatremarker in the West End where Felicity Kendal joined the cast and it opened in New Yorkmarker in 2003 at Manhattan Theatre Clubmarker.

Caird’s other productions in the West End have included Macbeth at the Almeida Theatremarker with Simon Russell Beale and Emma Fielding, Anouilh’s Becket at the Theatre Royal Haymarketmarker with Jasper Britton and Dougray Scott, Charles Dyer’s Rattle of a Simple Man with Michelle Collins and Stephen Tompkinson and Michael Weller’s What the Night Is For with Gillian Anderson and Roger Allam, both at the Comedy Theatremarker.

Sweden

In 2009, Caird was made Principal Guest Director at Sweden’s national stage, the Royal Dramatic Theatremarker of Stockholmmarker (Dramaten). His first production in Sweden was As You Like It (Som Ni Vill Ha Det) for Stadsteatern (Stockholm City Theatremarker) in 1984, with Stina Ekblad and Mats Bergman. Since then he has directed exclusively for Dramaten with A Midsummer Night's Dream (En Midsommernatsdröm) in 2000, Twelfth Night (Trettondagsafton) in 2002, Strindberg’s Dödsdansen (The Dance of Death) in 2007 with Stina Ekblad and Örjan Ramberg and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Muntra Fruarna i Windsor) in 2009.

Japan

Caird’s Japanese productions started with Les Misérables, which opened at the Imperial Theatre (Teikoku Gekijo) in 1987 and has been running in repertoire with other works at the same location ever since, as well as touring extensively throughout Japanmarker.

In 2006, he directed his own version of The Beggar's Opera for the Nissay Theatre in Tokyomarker, the production being revived in 2008. His 2007 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (Natsu no Yo no Yume) for the New National Theatre (Shinkokuritsu Gekijo) was revived in 2009. His play Kinshu adapted from Teru Miyamoto's famous novel opened at the Galaxy Theatre in 2007 and was revived in 2009. He has also directed Coward’s Private Lives (Shiseikatsu) at Theatre Crié in 2008 and Jane Eyre at the Nissay Theatre in 2009.

Opera

In opera, Caird has directed Mozart's Zaide with a new libretto by Italo Calvino at Musica nel Chiostro, the Batignano Opera Festival in Tuscany, in 1991, conducted by Paul McGrath. In 2005 he directed Verdi's Don Carlos at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiffmarker, conducted by Carlo Rizzi. In the same year, he directed a staged reading of The Screams of Kitty Genovese, a new opera by Will Todd and David Simpatico at the Public Theatermarker in New Yorkmarker.

He remounted Don Carlos for the Canadian Opera Company in Torontomarker in October 2007 and directed a new production of Verdi’s Aida for WNO in 2008.

In 2007-8 he wrote the libretto for Brief Encounter, a new opera by André Previn based on the play Still Life by Noël Coward and the Brief Encounter screenplay by Coward and David Lean. The opera had its world première performance at Houston Grand Opera in 2009 conducted by Patrick Summers and starring Elizabeth Futral and Nathan Gunn. Caird will direct Puccini’s Tosca for HGO for the 2010 season.

Musical Theatre

Caird’s introduction to musical theatre was directing the world première production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance which ran at the Palace Theatremarker in Londonmarker from 1982-1984.

He has also written libretti for a number of new musicals, all of which he also directed. As well as adapting and co-directing Schönberg and Boublil’s Les Misérables for the RSC and Cameron Mackintosh, he has written libretti for Children of Eden with music by Stephen Schwartz which ran in the West End in 1991 and now enjoys numerous productions worldwide every year, Jane Eyre with music by Paul Gordon which played in La Jolla, Toronto and at the Brooks Atkinson Theatremarker on Broadway from 1998-2000, Bernstein’s Candide which he adapted from the original Voltaire novel for the National Theatre season of 1999 and Daddy Long Legs, an adaptation of Jean Webster’s novel with music by Paul Gordon that had its world première at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, California in 2009, starring Megan McGinnis and Robert Adelman Hancock.

Caird also wrote and directed, with the designer John Napier, The Siegfried and Roy Spectacular, a magic show for the Mirage Hotelmarker in Las Vegasmarker, starring Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn and their menagerie of white tigers. The show opened in February 1991 and ran until October 2004, finally closing when Roy was injured by one of his beloved tigers.

Television

Caird’s television work includes his own adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays for the BBC’s performance series in 1995, starring David Calder, Ronald Pickup, Rufus Sewell, Jonathan Firth, Elizabeth Spriggs, Simon McBurney, Jane Horrocks and Paul Eddington amongst others.

Many of his theatrical productions have also been televised: Nicholas Nickleby directed by Jim Goddard for Primetime Television in 1982 won an Emmy Award for outstanding limited series. Swedish TV have screend As You Like It and Dödsdansen. WOWOW Television in Japan have screened both Jane Eyre and The Beggar’s Opera while NHK have screened Kinshu.

Other work

Caird has devised and staged two celebrations for WWF, the Worldwide Fund for Nature: the Religion and Inter-faith Ceremony at Assisi in 1986 and Gifts for Living Planet at Bakhtapur, Nepalmarker in 2000.

Caird also devised and directed (with Paul Robertson, the leader of the Medici String Quartet) Intimate Letters, a series of dramatised concerts based on the chamber-works and letters of Janacek, Smetana, Mozart, Elgar and Beethoven.

In 2001 he set up the Caird Company with Holly Kendrick to encourage young playwrights and directors. The company produced a number of rehearsed play-reading festivals in fringe theatres and rehearsal spaces all around Londonmarker, organized writing and directing workshops and seminars and produced Theatre Café, a festival of European Theatre at the Arcola Theatremarker, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, a verbatim play by Robin Soans at the Gate Theatremarker and the Lemon Princess by Rachel McGill for West Yorkshire Playhousemarker.

Caird directed a production of the melodrama, Murder in the Red Barn for marionette puppets, as a fund-raiser to save the Tiller-Clowes Marionettes for the nation at the Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, starring Joanna Lumley, Gary Kemp, Bill Nighy and others.

For the 25th anniversary of the National Theatre, Caird directed the NT ‘Chain Play’, a drama written in 25 consecutive scenes by 25 NT dramatists, a mad and wonderful event.

Recently Caird has written and directed Twin Spirits a dramatised concert based on the music and letters of Robert and Clara Schumann, in aid of the Royal Opera Housemarker, Covent Garden’s educational outreach programme. It was produced by June Chichester and starred amongst others Sting, Trudie Styler, Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellen, Simon Keenlyside and Rebecca Evans. The concert was televised by Opus Arte and is now available on DVD.

Writing

Caird’s book about directing for the stage – THEATRE CRAFT – will be published by Faber and Faber in March, 2010 in Londonmarker and New Yorkmarker.

Personal life

Caird has been married four times and has four sons and four daughters. His first marriage was to Helen Brammer in Oxford in 1970. His second was to Ann Dorszynski (Annie Caird) in Finsburymarker, Londonmarker in 1982. They have three children: Joanna (Jo) (born 29 January 1983), Benjamin (Ben) (born 10 October 1984) and Samuel (Sam) (born 8 July 1987). His third was to Frances Ruffelle in 1990, in Westminstermarker, Londonmarker. They have two children: Eliza (born 18 April 1988) and Nathaniel (Nat) (born 17 June 1990). His fourth was to Maoko Imai in Argiano, Italy in 1998. They have three children: Yoji (born 19 October 1998), Miyako (Mimi) (born 18 January 2000 and Yayako (Yaya) (born 14 March 2002).

Caird is an Honorary Fellow of Mansfield Collegemarker, Oxfordmarker, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (Coleg Brenhinol Cerdd a Drama Cymru) and has an Honorary D.Litt from the University of East Angliamarker.

Stage Productions

1977: Dance of Death (Other Place, Warehouse & Aldwych, London 1978)

1978: Savage Amusement (Warehouse)

1978: Look Out! Here Comes Trouble (Warehouse)

1979: Merry Wives of Windsor (Stratford & Aldwych, 1980)

1979: Caucasian Chalk Circle (Touring & Warehouse Theatre)

1980: The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Aldwych 1980-1)

1981: Naked Robots (Warehouse)

1981: The Twin Rivals (Other Place & The Pit Theatre, London, 1982)

1982: Nicholas Nickleby (Plymouth Theatre, Broadwaymarker)

1982: Song and Dance (Palace Theatremarker, London)

1982: Our Friends in the North (Other Place, The Pit Theatre, London)

1982: Peter Pan by JM Barrie (Barbican Theatre, London)

1983: Twelfth Night (Stratford)

1984: Romeo and Juliet (Touring, The Other Place & The Pit 1985-6)

1984: The Merchant of Venice (Stratford)

1984: Red Star (The Pit, London)

1984: As You Like It (Som Ni Vill Ha Det) (Stadsteatern, Stockholm)

1984: Nicholas Nickleby (Stratford & Ahmanson Theatre LA & Broadway)

1985: Les Miserables (Barbican, Palace Theatre & Broadway 1986)

1985: Philistines (Other Place & The Pit Theatre, London, 1986)

1986: Misalliance (Barbican)

1986: Every Man in His Humour (The Swan Theatre, Stratford)

1987: The New Inn (The Swan)

1987: Les Misérables (Imperial Theatre, Tokyo)

1988: A Question of Geography (Other Place & The Pit, London)

1989: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Stratford & Barbican & UK Tour ,1990)

1989: As You Like It (Stratford & Barbican,1990).

1990: Siegfried and Roy Spectacular (Le Mirage, Las Vegas, USA)

1991: Zaïde (Musica nel Chiostro, Batignano, Italy)

1991: Children of Eden (Prince Edward Theatre, London)

1992: Anthony and Cleopatra (Stratford & Barbican, 1993)

1992: Columbus and the Discovery of Japan by Richard Nelson (Barbican)

1993: The Beggar’s Opera (Swan Theatre & Barbican,1993)

1993: Trelawny of the Wells (Olivier Theatre, RNT, Loondon)

1993: Life Sentences (Second Stage Theatre, Broadway, NY)

1994: The Seagull (Olivier Theatre, RNT, London)

1995 The Millionairess (UK Tour)

1996: Stanley (Cottesloe Theatremarker, RNT & Circle in the Squaremarker, Broadwaymarker, 1997)

1997: Jane Eyre (Royal Alexandra Theatremarker, Torontomarker)

1997: Peter Pan (Olivier Theatre, RNT)

1998: Jane Eyre (La Jolla Playhouse, California)

1999: Candide, (Olivier Theatre, RNT)

1999: Money (Olivier Theatre, RNT)

2000: Hamlet (Olivier Theatre, RNT, Elsinoremarker, EuropeanTour & BAM, 2001)

2000: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (En Midsommernattsdröm) (Dramaten)

2000: Jane Eyre (Broadwaymarker)

2001: Humble boy (Cottesloe Theatremarker, RNT & Gielgud Theatremarker, 2002)

2002: Twelfth Night (Trettondagsafton) (Dramaten, Stockholmmarker)

2002: What the Night is For (Comedy Theatre, London)

2003: Humble boy (Manhattan Theatre Clubmarker, New Yorkmarker)

2004: Rattle of a Simple Man (Comedy Theatremarker, Londonmarker)

2004: Becket (Theatre Royal Haymarketmarker, Londonmarker)

2005: Macbeth (Almeida Theatremarker, Londonmarker)

2005: Twin Spirits (Royal Opera Housemarker, Covent Garden)

2005: Don Carlos (Welsh National Opera, Cardiff & UK Tour)

2005: The Screams of Kitty Genovese (Public Theatermarker, New Yorkmarker)

2006: The Beggar’s Opera (Nissay Theatre, Tokyomarker)

2006: Twin Spirits (New Victory Theater, New Yorkmarker)

2006: Les Misérables (Broadhurst Theatre, New Yorkmarker)

2007: Dödsdansen (Dramaten, Stockholmmarker)

2007: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, (Natsu no Yo no Yume) (New National, Tokyomarker)

2007: Kinshu (Galaxy Theatre,Tokyo)

2007: Don Carlos (Canadian Opera Company, Torontomarker)

2008: The Beggar’s Opera (Nissay Theatre, Tokyomarker & Osaka)

2008: Aida (Welsh National Opera, Cardiffmarker and Birminghammarker)

2008: Private Lives (Shiseikatsu) (Theatre Crié, Tokyo)

2009: Merry Wives of Windsor (Muntra Fruarna i Windsor) (Dramaten)

2009: Brief Encounter (Houston Grand Opera)

2009: Midsummer Night’s Dream (Natsu no Yo no Yume) (Tokyomarker & Toyama)

2009: Jane Eyre (Nissay Theatre, Tokyomarker)

2009: Daddy Long Legs (Rubicon Theatre, Ventura, California)

2009: Kinshu (Galaxy Theatre, Tokyomarker & Japanese tour)

Publications

Peter Pan Dramatists Play Service, NY (1987)

Children of Eden Music Theatre International, NY (1997)

The Beggar’s Opera Dramatists Play Service, NY (1999)

Peter Pan Methuen Publishing, UK (1999)

Candide Music Theatre International, NY (2002)

Jane Eyre Music Theatre International, NY (2003)

Theatre Craft Faber & Faber (2010)

Recordings

Les Miserables, First Night Records, 1985 (& numerous further cast recordings world-wide.)

Children of Eden, First Night Records, 1991 (& RCA Victor/BMG 1998).

The Beggar’s Opera, London Records, 1992.

Jane Eyre, Angel Records, 1998 (& Sony Music Entertainment 2000).

Candide, RNT & First Night Records, 2000.

Awards

1980 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director for Nicholas Nickleby.

1981 Evening Standard Drama Award for Best Director for Nicholas Nickleby.

1982 Tony Award for Best Director for Nicholas Nickleby.

1982 Outer Critics Circle Award, Special Citation for Nicholas Nickleby.

1987 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical for Les Misérables.

1987 Tony Award for Best Director for Les Misérables.

1994 Laurence Olivier Award (Nomination) for Best Director of a Musical for The Beggar's Opera

1997 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director of a Play for Stanley.

1997 Tony Award (Nomination) for Best Direction of a Play for Stanley

1999 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival for Candide.

2001 Outer Critics Circle Award (Nomination) Outstanding Broadway Musical for Jane Eyre

2001 Tony Award (Nomination) for Best Musical for Jane Eyre

2001 Tony Award (Nomination) for Best Original Score for Jane Eyre

2001 Tony Award (Nomination) for Best Book of a Musical for Jane Eyre

2006 Nippon Engeki Kogyo Kyukai Award for Kinshu, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Beggar’s Opera.

2007 Kikuta Kazuo Theatre Award for Special Achievement in Japanese Theatre

References



External links

John Caird's website http://www.johncaird.com




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