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Trevor Nunn

Trevor Nunn

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Also Known As: Trevor Robert Nunn Died:
Born: January 14, 1940 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Suffolk, England, GB Profession: artistic director, director, play adapter, screenwriter, producer, lyricist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A heralded stage director of such London and Broadway hits as "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," "Cats" and "Les Miserables," Trevor Nunn is the former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and current head of The National Theatre. After attending Cambridge, he began his career producing and directing plays at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Within two years, he joined the RSC as associate director, a position he held until 1968 when he was named chief executive and artistic director. Administrative duties aside, Nunn first directed an actual production for the RSC in 1965, handing the children's play, "The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew" but it was his 1969 staging of "The Revenger's Tragedy" that established his reputation. During his tenure, he oversaw a number of acclaimed productions including "The Taming of the Shrew" (1967), "King Lear" (1968), "Coriolanus," "Antony and Cleopatra" and "Titus Andronicus" (all 1972). His first American foray was overseeing the RSC's 1974 production of "Richard II." In 1976, Nunn branched out into musicals with an adaptation of "The Comedy of Errors." But it was David Edgar's two-part version of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas...

A heralded stage director of such London and Broadway hits as "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," "Cats" and "Les Miserables," Trevor Nunn is the former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and current head of The National Theatre. After attending Cambridge, he began his career producing and directing plays at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Within two years, he joined the RSC as associate director, a position he held until 1968 when he was named chief executive and artistic director. Administrative duties aside, Nunn first directed an actual production for the RSC in 1965, handing the children's play, "The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew" but it was his 1969 staging of "The Revenger's Tragedy" that established his reputation. During his tenure, he oversaw a number of acclaimed productions including "The Taming of the Shrew" (1967), "King Lear" (1968), "Coriolanus," "Antony and Cleopatra" and "Titus Andronicus" (all 1972). His first American foray was overseeing the RSC's 1974 production of "Richard II." In 1976, Nunn branched out into musicals with an adaptation of "The Comedy of Errors." But it was David Edgar's two-part version of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" that solidified his reputation. Co-directed with John Caird, the production opened to raves in London and on Broadway, where it won four Tony Awards including Best Play and Best Director. Nunn teamed with Andrew Lloyd Webber on "Cats," drawn from the poetry of T S Eliot, staging the musical and contributing additional lyrics (most notably to the show's signature tune "Memory"). The Broadway production earned seven Tony Awards (including one for Nunn's direction) and went on to become the longest-running musical in Broadway history in 1997.

Once established as a musical director, Nunn went on to work on several of Lloyd Webber's spectacles. He staged the roller-skating musical "Starlight Express" (1984), the more intimate but less successful "Aspects of Love" (1989) and more recently "Sunset Boulevard" (1994). In between, Nunn reteamed with John Caird to stage an English-language adaptation of the French musical "Les Miserables" (1985). The 1987 New York production was the success of the season and earned eight Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Director.

Nunn has ventured into films and television, generally recreating stage productions. In 1974, he produced a British TV adaptation of "Antony and Cleopatra" that starred his then-wife Janet Suzman which aired on ABC in the USA in 1975. His musicalized "The Comedy of Errors" aired on A&E in 1990 and he adapted and directed "Porgy & Bess" for PBS three years later. More recently, Nunn oversaw the 10th anniversary concert version of "Les Miserables" (1995). On the big screen, he debuted as writer and director of "Hedda" (1975), a version of Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" that offered a tour de force lead performance by Glenda Jackson. Nunn stumbled somewhat with his second film, "Lady Jane" (1985), a period film about the Tudor monarch who ruled England for only nine days. Written by David Edgar and introducing Helena Bonham Carter, "Lady Jane" was more pageant than drama. After more than a decade, Nunn returned to films with "Twelfth Night" (1996), a middling adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy that starred Bonham Carter and Nunn's third wife, Imogen Stubbs.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Lady Jane (1986)
3.
  Hedda (1975) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

1965:
Directed children's play "The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew" for Royal Shakespeare Company
1968:
Was Artistic Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company
1969:
Won widespread praise for directing "The Revenger's Tragedy" for RSC
1974:
Produced a British TV version of "Anthony and Cleopatra" starring his then-wife Janet Suzman
1975:
Made screen debut directing and adapting "Hedda"
1976:
Wrote lyrics for and staged "The Comedy of Errors" at RSC
1980:
With John Caird, co-directed David Edgar's "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby"; production moved to Broadway in 1981
1981:
Contributed lyrics and directed the London production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats"; repeated staging for the 1982 Broadway production
1982:
Co-directed four-part TV verion of "Nicholas Nickleby"; aired in syndication in USA in 1983
1985:
With Caird, co-directed the musical "Les Miserables"; repeated staging for the 1987 Broadway production
1985:
Helmed second film, the period drama "Lady Jane", written by David Edgar and starring Helena Bonham Carter
1986:
Assumed direction of musical "Chess" after Michael Bennett withdrew because of illness
1989:
Staged the Lloyd Webber musical "Aspects of Love" in London; repeated for Broadway in 1990
1993:
Directed a TV version of "Porgy and Bess"
1994:
Again helmed a Lloyd Webber musical, "Sunset Boulevard"
1994:
Signed two-year, first look deal with New Line Cinema
1995:
Chosen as successor to Richard Eyre as artistic director of London's National Theatre
1996:
Adapted and directed feature version of "Twelfth Night", co-starring Helena Bonham Carter and Nunn's wife Imogen Stubbs
1997:
In June, "Cats" became the longest-running musical in Broadway history
1997:
Assumed position as head of the National Theatre (October)
1998:
Staged the debut production of a previously unproduced Tennessee Williams' play "Not About Nightingales"; recreated staging for Broadway
1998:
Helmed acclaimed London stage revival of "Oklahoma!"
2000:
Staged production of "The Cherry Orchard" starring real-life siblings Corin and Vanessa Redgrave
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Education

Downing College, University of Cambridge: - 1962

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Janet Suzman. Actor, director. Married October 17, 1969; divorced in 1986.
wife:
Sharon Lee-Hill. Actor. Married in 1986; divorced in 1991; appeared in "Cats".
companion:
Judy Kuhn. Actor, singer. Together in the late 1980s when she appeared in "Chess", directed by Nunn.
wife:
Imogen Stubbs. Actor. Directed by Nunn in "Othello" c. 1994 and the film "Twelfth Night" (1996).
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Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert Alexander Nunn. Cabinetmaker.
mother:
Dorothy May Nunn.
son:
Joshua Nunn. Born on November 11, 1980; mother, Janet Suzman.
daughter:
Ellie Nunn. Mother, Imogen Stubbs.
son:
Jesse Nunn. Born c. 1995; mother, Imogen Stubbs.
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