David Farr

Playwright, director for theatre and film, and writer for television and film

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Biography

David Farr is a playwright, screenwriter and stage director, whose plays have been performed all over the world. In recent years he has moved into film and television, working on the long running BBC show Spooks and completing his first feature film, Hanna, for Focus Features in 2009. His directorial debut, The Ones Below, with Cuba Pictures premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 and was released in UK cinemas in March 2016.

David's theatre career began when he became Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, London, in 1995. His work at The Gate earned him a reputation as one of the most exciting new talents in British theatre, a reputation that he built on when he left The Gate to become Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic in 2002. His time at Bristol earned him a TMA Award for Best Director for his production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In 2005, David took up the post of Artistic Director of the London's Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. David's tenure at the theatre established it as a driving force in high quality visual theatre. During his time there, he wrote and directed a hugely successful adaptation of Kafka's Metamorphosis, as well as directing the acclaimed devised piece Water with Filter Theatre.

In 2009, David left The Lyric to become Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His first productions, The Winter's Tale, King Lear and The Homecoming all opened to critical acclaim.

David's adaptation of John le Carré's novel The Night Manager, produced by The Ink Factory, starring Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston and directed by Susanne Bier, recently aired on BBC1.

David was nominated for Outstanding Writer for a Limited Series at the 68th Emmy Awards for The Night Manager. The show picked up 12 nominations in total, including Outstanding Limited Series

David's Troy: Fall of a City has been commissioned by BBC One

There is a delicious and elegant nastiness in this psychological suspense thriller from British writer-director David Farr... a thoroughly gripping, horribly absorbing movie

Peter Bradshaw
The Guardian on The Ones Below

More on The Ones Below

must-see Sunday night television

Jim Shelley
Daily Mail on The Night Manager

More on The Night Manager

CV

Film

Writer & Director

Starring
  • Clemence Poesy
  • Stephen Campbell Moore
  • David Morrissey
  • Laura Birn
  •  

    Thriller about a couple whose new neighbours are not what they seem

    Cuba Pictures and BBC Films
     
    Coolbox
    Short
    Producer Nikki Parrott
    Starring
  • Lloyd Hutchinson
  • Khalid Laith
  • Hattie Morahan
  • Justin Salinger
  •  

    Two men deliver a new fridge to a couple struggling with a newborn baby

    BBC Films
    Tigerlily Films
     

    Writer

     

    Film based on the character created by Len Deighton

    Altitude Film Entertainment
    In development
     
    HHhH
    Feature
    Producer Simon Istolainen
    Director Cedric Jimenez
    Starring
  • Rosamund Pike
  • Mia Wasikowska
  • Jason Clarke
  • Jack O'Connell
  • Jack Reynor
  •  

    Adaptation of the novel by Laurent Binet about the attempted assassination of Reinhard Heydrich shooting in Budapest in Autumn 2015

    Legende
    In development
     
     

    Adaptation of the novel by Claire North

    Blueprint Pictures
    In development
     
    Embassy
    Feature
     

    Thriller following the six days in 1980 when Islamic terrorists seized the Iranian embassy in London

    Element Pictures
    In development
     
    Merlin
    Feature
     

    New adaptation of the story of Merlin

    Warner Bros
    In development
     
     

    Spy feature film

    Columbia Pictures
    In development
     
     

    Comedy spy film

    NBC Universal
    Universal
    In development
     
     

    Thriller about a man whose life becomes very complicated following a car crash

    Millbrook Development Company
    In development
     
     

    Adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel

    BBC Films
    Origin Films
    In development
     
     

    Thriller about a sleeper agent in Russia

    Cloud Eight Films
    In development
     
    Hanna
    Feature
    Producer Marty Adelstein, Leslie Holleran, Scott Nemes
    Starring
  • Eric Bana
  • Saoirse Ronan
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Jessica Barden
  •  
    Film following a teenage girl trained as an assassin who finds acceptance in a French family
    Focus Features
    Marty Adelstein Productions
     
    Paani
    Feature
    Producer Aditya Chopra
    Director Shekhar Kapur
    Starring
  • Anushka Sharma
  • Hrithik Roshan
  •  

    Film set in the future when the Earth's water supply has run out

    Swarovski Entertainment
    In development
     
     
    Adaptation of Graham Green's novel
    Parkes/Macdonald Productions
    In development
     

    TV

    Writer & Creator

    The Cradle
    1 x 60'
     

    Political thriller

    Cuba Pictures
    In development
     
     

    Television series set during the Trojan War

    Kudos for BBC1
    In development
     

    Writer

    McMafia
    2 x 60'
    Creator Hossein Amini
    Director James Watkins
     

    New drama based on Misha Glenny's book about organised crime

    Cuba Pictures
    In development
     
    The Night Manager
    Nominated: Outstanding Writer on a Limited Series, Emmy Awards
    6 x 60'
    Producer Rob Bullock
    Director Susanne Bier
    Starring
  • Tom Hiddleston
  • Hugh Laurie
  • Olivia Colman
  • Tom Hollander
  • Elizabeth Debicki
  •  

    Adaptation of the John le Carre novel

    The Ink Factory for BBC1 & AMC
     
    Outcasts
    2 x 60'
    Starring
  • Jamie Bamber
  • Eric Mabius
  • Hermione Norris
  • Ashley Walters
  •  
    Drama following a group of misfits sent to colonise a new planet
    Kudos Film and Television for BBC1
     
    Producer Various
    Director Various
     
    Series 4-9 of the feted spy show
    Kudos Film and Televison for BBC
     

    Theatre

    Writer

     

    Commission from the National Theatre adapting the story by Rudyard Kipling

    National Theatre
     
     

    New commission co-written with Amir Nizar Zuabi

    National Theatre Wales
     
    Producer RSC
    Director Gisli Örn Gardarsson
    Starring
  • Gareth Aled
  • Martin Hutson
  • Emma Manton
  • Flora Montgomery
  •  

    RSC's Christmas show with a new twist on the classic legend of Robin Hood

    Royal Shakespeare Theatre
     
    Producer Kate McGrath
    Director Gísli Örn Gardarsson
    Starring
  • Vera Baldwin
  • Maralin Belchere
  • Anna Calder Marshall
  • Maria Charles
  •  
    Musical following the blossoming romance between two people in an old people's home
    Lyric Hammersmith
     
    Director Gordon Anderson
    Starring
  • Sam Cox
  • Rachel Ferjani
  • Aiden Mcardle
  • Adrian Schiller
  •  
    Adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel
    Old Vic, Bristol
     
    Director Dominic Hill
    Starring
  • Selina Chilton
  • Lisa Ellis
  • Clare Holman
  • Mark Rice-Oxley
  •  

    Satire on the cult of celebrity and television chat shows

    The Bush Theatre
     
    Director Terry Johnson
    Starring
  • Will Keen
  • Tom Mannion
  •  
    Original comedy about a fanatical Watford City football supporter who blames the team's defeat on the glare from Elton John's glasses
    Watford Palace Theatre
     

    Writer & Director

    Producer Filter
    Starring
  • Oliver Dimsdale
  • Christine Entwisle
  • Mariah Gale
  • Paul Hamilton
  •  

    Collaboration between Filter and David exploring noise in its many forms

    Hampstead Theatre
     
    Starring
  • Victoria Moseley
  • Ferdy Roberts
  • Oliver Dimsdale
  •  
    Company-created piece of drama which interweaves the issue of global warming with various relationships
    The Tricycle Theatre
     
    Producer Dyri Jonsson
    Starring
  • Gisli Orn Gardarsson
  • Bjorn Helgason
  • Brenda Murphy
  • Nick Manning
  •  
    American premiere of David's adaptation of Franz Kafka's novella about a man who wakes up to find that he has been turned into a bug
    BAM, New York
     
     

    One act play for National Theatre Connections

    National Theatre
     
    Producer Kate McGrath
    Starring
  • Vanessa Ackerman
  • Kolade Agboke
  • Nicholas Kahn
  • Marc Layton-Bennett
  •  
    Adaptation of the epic poem for the Lyric Hammersmith
    Lyric Hammersmith
     
    Producer Kate McGrath
    Starring
  • Tom Mannion
  • Jonathan McGuiness
  • Elva Osk Olafsdottir
  • Unnur Osp Stefansdottir
  •  
    Adaptation of Franz Kafka's novella about a boy who wakes up to discover he is an insect
    Lyric Hammersmith
     
    Starring
  • Greg Hicks
  • Jeffery Kissoon
  • Ann Ogbomo
  • Rachael Stirling
  •  
    David Farr's adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's play
    Barbican
     
    Starring
  • Sarah Belcher
  • Sharon Duncan-Brewster
  • Nick Haverson
  • Helena Lymbery
  •  
    Drama following two Arabian thieves who aim high when they try to rob the sultan
    Lyric Hammersmith
     
    Starring
  • Robert Bowman
  • David Fishley
  • Colin Mace
  • Scott McLoughlin
  •  
    David Farr's adaptation of Homer's myth
    Bristol Old Vic
     
    Starring
  • Geoffrey Beevers
  • Kenneth Cranham
  • Elizabeth Bell
  • Geraldine James
  •  

    Adaptation of Gogol's The Government Inspector

    National Theatre
     
    Creator John Milton
    Starring
  • Kananu Kirimi
  • Stephen Noonan
  • Christopher Staines
  •  

    Adaptation of John Milton's epic poem about the fall from grace of Adam and Eve

    Bristol Old Vic
     
     
    Part of NT Connections
    National Theatre
     
    Creator Fyodor Dostoevsky
    Starring
  • Cengiz Bozkurt
  • Dave Fishley
  • Learie Foster
  • Michelle Hallak
  •  
    Original play based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's classic novel for the Arcola Theatre
    Arcola Theatre
     
    Producer RSC
    Starring
  • Nigel Betts
  • Tom Mannion
  • Hattie Morahan
  • Cherry Morris
  •  

    Play about a market researcher confronted by the ghost of a young woman

    Barbican Pit
     
    Starring
  • Sarah Theresa Belcher
  • Dave Fishley
  • Toby Jones
  •  
    Adaptation of the Nativity story
    Young Vic
     
    Starring
  • Jim Dunk
  • Anthony Higgins
  • Tracy Letts
  • Emily Lloyd
  •  

    Original play with film components about a Hollywood director

    The Electric Cinema
     
    Starring
  • Will Keen
  • Rachel Weisz
  •  

    Play about a grouchy hermit obsessed with Norman Whiteside's 1985 FA Cup goal

    Finborough Theatre
     
     
    Battersea Arts Centre
     

    Director

    Writer William Shakespeare
    Starring
  • Pippa Nixon
  • Jonathan Slinger
  • Greg Hicks
  • Charlotte Cornwell
  • Robin Soans
  •  
    David directs Jonathan Slinger in the title role of Shakespeare's classic play
    Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
     
    Producer Royal Shakespeare Company
    Writer William Shakespeare
    Starring
  • Ankur Bahl
  • Sarah Belcher
  • Amie Burns Walker
  • Kirsty Bushell
  •  
    Part of What Country Friends Is This?, the trilogy of Shakespeare's shipwreck plays
    Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
     
    Producer Royal Shakespeare Company
    Writer William Shakespeare
    Starring
  • Ankur Bahl
  • Sarah Belcher
  • Amie Burns Walker
  • Kirsty Bushell
  •  
    Part of What Country Friends Is This?, the trilogy of Shakespeare's shipwreck plays
    Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
     
    Producer RSC
    Writer Harold Pinter
    Starring
  • Aislín McGuckin
  • Richard Riddell
  • Justin Salinger
  •  

    Revival of Harold Pinter's play

    Swan Theatre
     
    Producer RSC
    Writer William Shakespeare
    Starring
  • Kathryn Hunter
  • Katy Stephens
  •  
    Opened at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford and transferred to The Roundhouse and New York
    Courtyard Theatre, Stratford upon Avon
     
    Producer RSC
    Starring
  • Greg Hicks
  • Darrell D'Silva
  • Kelly Hunter
  • John Mackay
  • Brian Docherty
  •  
    Directed by David as his inaugural production as Associate Director of the RSC
    Courtyard Theatre, Stratford upon Avon
     
    Producer Kate McGrath
    Writer Bertolt Brecht
    Starring
  • Jude Akuwudike
  • Ariyon Bakare
  • Adrian Black
  • Lucian Msamati
  •  

    Satirical allegroy of Hitler's rise to power with the action moved to Africa

    Lyric Hammersmith
     
    Starring
  • Gary Oliver
  • Christopher Saul
  • Adrian Schiller
  •  

    Modern set production of the Shakespeare play

    The Swan
     
    Producer RSC
    Starring
  • Alison Fiske
  • Greg Hicks
  • Chuk Iwuj
  • Tom Mannion
  •  
    David Farr's vaunted samurai production of Coriolanus which opened at the Swan, toured nationally and was transferred by Duncan Weldon into London's Old Vic Theatre
    Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon
     
    Writer Georg Buchner
    Starring
  • Breffni McKenna
  • Jamie Newall
  • Thomas Russell
  • Milo Twomey
  •  

    Buchner's play about the French Revolution

    Gate Theatre, Notting Hill