Director / Writer
Laurence Boswell is one of the UK’s most prolific and critically acclaimed theatre directors, with an illustrious career littered with awards on both sides of the Atlantic, including multiple Olivier Award wins and a Tony Award nomination. Laurence’s work has ranged from commercially star-studded performances to regional lesser known titles which he has been able to elevate to equal status. No matter the size of the show or the elements included, Laurence has been prolific throughout his career with success in every position he has held.
The very start of his theatre career at Manchester University was a sign of things to come, having been involved with productions of ‘The Dog In The Manager’ and ‘The Silent Woman’, both of which were awarded the BP Best Production Award. Between 1990-1992 he was the Associate Director at the Gate Theatre, during which time he won accolades including the Time Out Award (1990), LWT Plays on Stage Award (1991), the Charrington Fringe Award (1991) and most notable his first Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement (1992).
During the following few years, Laurence directed critically acclaimed productions, most notably Ben Elton’s ‘Popcorn’ at the Nottingham and West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1996, followed by a move to the Apollo Theatre and then a national tour (1997-1999). It was after the show’s transfer to the Apollo that he was recognised for his work by the Olivier Awards for the second time in his career, receiving the award for Best Comedy. At the same time, Laurence was firing on all cylinders with a production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ which he wrote and directed. His production won the TMA Award for Best Play for Children and Young People (1997) and it has since been revived at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon, in 2003-04 and then again in 2004-05.
Laurence was appointed as the Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2002 which he continued through to 2006. During this period he also directed some of the biggest acting stars in West End hits including Billie Piper in ‘Treats’, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matt Damon and Casey Affleck in ‘This is Our Youth’, Madonna in ‘Up For Grabs’ and Clive Owen and Eddie Izzard in ‘A Day in the Death of Joe Egg’. It was the latter production which was eventually transferred to Broadway and earned Laurence his next great recognition by the theatre industry, a Tony Award nomination for Best Director in 2003.
In April 2011, Laurence was appointed as the Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio, Bath Theatre Royal, a position which he continues to hold today. The reinvigorated Ustinov is at the forefront of new writing and has been described as a “dramatic springboard” (Mail on Sunday). It’s now established success is apparent by the continuous transfer of shows to London. Laurence’s success at the helm of the Ustinov is driven by his understanding of new writing and the British theatre audience. Whilst he has been described as “doing remarkable things with unusual plays” (Daily Telegraph, Theatre Review of the Year 2012), it is probably his own depiction of his outlook towards finding international talent which best sums up why his shows are always destined for success: “A great writer is neither American nor British, but an open-property and an inspiration. Real talent, real vision is international.”