Deborah Warner announced as new Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio at Theatre Royal Bath


Theatre Royal Bath is delighted to announce the appointment of internationally acclaimed and multi-award-winning theatre and opera director Deborah Warner as the new Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio. Her inaugural season will be Autumn 2020 with full details and programming to be announced in due course.

Deborah Warner said: “I am delighted to be joining the team in Bath and very excited to be working on a small and intimate scale once more. The Ustinov Studio has become a major force in British theatre and I look forward to the opportunity to present challenging and questioning theatre in all its many forms as we enter this new decade.”

Danny Moar, Director of Theatre Royal Bath, said “This is a fabulous appointment for the Theatre Royal Bath and a testament to the role the Ustinov Studio plays locally, nationally and internationally. Deborah’s extraordinary track record speaks for itself and we very much look forward to working with her in the years ahead.”

Deborah Warner founded The Kick Theatre Company in 1980 at the age of 21 and has since gone on to work with leading companies and talent worldwide, holding prestigious positions including Resident Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Associate Director of the National Theatre, and Associate Director of the Barbican. Her many notable productions include Titus Andronicus with Brian Cox at the RSC, for which she earned an Olivier and Evening Standard Award, as well as many titles from her long-standing creative partnership with actress Fiona Shaw which spans over 30 years. Starting with Electra at the RSC in 1988 their list of productions together include Hedda Gabler as seen in the West Endwhich received the Evening Standard Award for Best Production and Direction, Medea which also received  the Evening Standard Award for Best Direction and was nominated for three Tony awards, the ground breaking Richard II at the NT with Shaw in the title role, and the world premiere of The Testament of Mary on Broadway and at the Barbican, as well as  their staging of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land which toured the world and re-discovered Wilton’s Music Hall. Other NT titles include The Good Person of SichuanMother Courage and Her Children and Happy Days. She directed Bruno Ganz in Coriolan at the Salzburg Festival as well as Der Stürm. More recently her production of King Lear at the Old Vic marked Glenda Jackson’s return to the stage. 

She has worked extensively in Paris with performances at Bouffes du Nord, MC93 Bobigny, l’Odéon, Chaillot, Châtelet, Opéra Comique and Théâtre des Champs Elysées. She was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 1992, L’Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 2000 and Commander des Arts et des Lettres in 2013.

She continues to work regularly for the leading opera houses of the world. Conductors she has previously worked with include Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Colin Davies, Edward Gardner, Bill Christie and Daniel Barenboim. Her opera productions include Wozzeck and La Voix Humaine for Opera North; The Turn of the Screw which won the South Bank and Evening Standard Award, Billy Budd for the Royal Opera House, Don Giovanni and Fidelio for the Glyndebourne Festival, Rape of Lucrece for Bavarian State Opera; St. John PassionDiary of One Who DisappearedDeath in VeniceMessiahEugene Onegin and the world premiere of Between Worlds for English National Opera. In Austria she has staged Dido and Aeneas and Traviata, both in Vienna for the Wiener Festwochen. Her production of Fidelio opened the 2014/2015 season at La Scala. Her future productions include productions for the Teatro Real Madrid, where she staged her Billy Budd, named Best Production in the 2018 International Opera Awards.

In addition, Deborah has made a number of devised installation works, most notably the St. Pancras Project and The Angel Project for L.I.F.T. and the Lincoln Center Festival NYC, as well as Peace Camp for the London 2012 Cultural Olympics. Her film work includes: The Waste Land and The Last September – an adaptation by John Banville of Elizabeth Bowen’s novel.

In 2019 she was appointed The Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University.

She was created CBE in the 2006 Queens 80th Birthday Honours.