Rufus Norris

Director and producer for theatre and film
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Biography

Rufus Norris is a multi-award winning theatre director who came to prominence in 2001 with his production of Afore Night Came at the Young Vic, for which he won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Newcomer. In 2004 He won his second Evening Standard Award and the Critics Circle Award for his production of Festen.

Since then, Rufus has directed a host of critically acclaimed shows, among them an adaptation of DBC Pierre's Booker Prize winning novel Vernon God Little at the Young Vic, and a West End revival of Cabaret, which won 2 Oliviers. Rufus' 2008 Broadway production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, starring Laura Linney and Ben Daniels, won five Tony Award nominations, including Best Revival. His production of London Road in 2011 at the National Theatre, won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical. His production of Feast, at the Young Vic,opened in January 2013 and in May 2013 Rufus directed the opening production at the Shed space at the National, Table by Tanya Ronder. The Amen Corner opened at the Olivier Theatre in July 2013 to critical acclaim.

In 2009, Rufus made his screen debut with the short film King Bastard, written by Tanya Ronder and produced by BBC Films. In 2012 his debut feature Broken opened Critics Week at Cannes Film Festival and went on to win Best Film at the British Independent Film Awards. Rufus' second feature is the screen adaptation of London Road for Cuba Pictures and BBC Films.

Rufus is the current Artistic Director of the National Theatre, having taken on the role in April 2015.

CV

Film

Director

Producer Dixie Linder, Nick Marston & Tally Garner
Writer Alecky Blythe
Starring
  • Olivia Colman
  • Tom Hardy
  • Kate Fleetwood
  • Eloise Laurence
  • Janet Henfrey
  •  
    Film adaptation of the critically acclaimed stage show
    BBC Films
    Cuba Pictures
     
    Broken
    Winner: Best Film, British Independent Film Awards
    Feature
    Producer Dixie Linder, Nick Marston & Tally Garner
    Writer Mark O'Rowe
    Starring
  • Rory Kinnear
  • Cillian Murphy
  • Eloise Laurence
  • Robert Emms
  • Tim Roth
  •  

    Rufus' debut feature about a young girl living in North London

    BBC Films
    Cuba Pictures
     
    Producer Dixie Linder
    Starring
  • Peter Mullan
  •  
    Short film about a young girl's grief for her grandfather
    UKFC
    Working Title & BNBC Films
     

    Theatre

    Director

    Writer Moira Buffini & Damon Albarn
    Starring
  • Rosalie Craig
  • Sam Archer
  • Lois Chimimba
  • Rob Compton
  • Ivan De Freitas
  •  

    Musical inspired by Alice in Wonderland 

    Manchester International Festival & National Theatre
     
    Writer Carol Ann Duffy
    Starring
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Stephen Aintree
  • Philip Martin Brown
  • Paul Bullion
  • Adam Burton
  •  

    Rufus' first production as Artistic Director of the National Theatre

    National Theatre
     
    Writer David Hare
    Starring
  • Pal Aron
  • Hiran Abeysekera
  • Esh Alladi
  • Nathalie Armin
  •  

    Adaptation of the non-fiction book by Katherine Boo set in the Annawadi slum in Mumbai

    National Theatre
     
    Writer James Baldwin
    Starring
  • Eric Kofi Abrefa
  • Naana Agyei-Ampadu
  • Delroy Atkinson
  • Katrina Beckford
  • Marianne Jean-Baptiste
  •  
    New production of James Baldwin's play about a Harlem church
    National Theatre
     
    Writer Tanya Ronder
    Starring
  • Daniel Cerqueira
  • Paul Hilton
  • Jonathan Cullen
  • Rosalie Craig
  • Sophie Wu
  •  
    Inaugural play in the National Theatre's Shed, following one family across 200 years
    Shed, National Theatre
     
    Writer Yunior García Aguilera, Rotimi Babatunde, Marcos Barbosa, Tanya Barfield & Gbolahan Obisesan
     
    Production celebrating Yoruba culture through story, live music and choreography
    Young Vic
     
    Producer Bill Kenwright
    Starring
  • Michelle Ryan
  • Will Young
  •  

    Musical sensation

    Savoy Theatre
     
    Writer Alecky Blythe
    Starring
  • Kate Fleetwood
  • Claire Moore
  • Nick Holder
  • Rosalie Craig
  •  
    Lyrical drama about the Ipswich murders
    National Theatre
     
    Creator Rufus Norris & Damon Albarn
    Writer Damon Albarn
     
    Opera composed by Damon Albarn exploring ritual and symbolism
    Palace Theatre
     
    Writer Tanya Ronder
    Starring
  • Clare Burt
  • Johnnie Fiori
  • Luke Brady
  • Daniel Cerqueira
  • Peter De Jersey
  •  
    Revival of Rufus' 2007 production of the adaptation of DBC Pierre's book
    Young Vic
     
    Writer Mozart
    Starring
  • Katherine Broderick
  • Rebecca Evans
  • Iain Patterson
  • Brindley Sherratt
  •  
    Rufus' operatic debut of Mozart's darkly seductive tale
    ENO
     
    Producer Bill Kenwright
    Writer Clifford Odet
    Starring
  • Jenny Seagrove
  • Martin Shaw
  •  
    Number One tour and West End run of Clifford Odet's play
    Theatre Royal, Windsor
     
    Writer Wole Soyinka
    Starring
  • Nonso Anozie
  •  

    Play set in Nigeria in the 1940's about the King's chief horseman

    National Theatre
     
    Writer Christopher Hampton
    Starring
  • Laura Linney
  • Ben Daniels
  •  
    Adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' novel of the same name
    Roundhouse Theatre
     
    Producer Cuba Pictures
    Writer Tanya Ronder
    Starring
  • Mark Lockyer
  • Colin Morgan
  • Mariah Gale
  •  
    Adaptation of the Booker Prize winning debut novel written by DBC Pierre
    Young Vic
     
    Starring
  • James Dreyfus
  • Sheila Hancock
  • Anna Maxwell Martin
  •  

    Musical set in a cabaret club in Berlin in the 1930s

    Lyric Theatre
     
    Writer David Eldridge
    Starring
  • Paul Anderson
  • Nicola Blackwell
  • Jonathan Cullen
  • Danny Worters
  • Claire Rushbrook
  •  

    Rufus' first production at the National Theatre about a young boy working on a market shoe stall in the 1980s

    National Theatre
     
    Producer Wink Productions
     
    Play by Deirdre Strath for Arts Threshold
    Arts Threshold
     
    Writer Tanya Ronder
    Starring
  • Gabriel Garcia Bernal
  • Adjoa Andoh
  • Jason Baughan
  • Paul Bhattacharjee
  • Daniel Cerqueira
  •  

    New version of Federico Garcia Lorca's play Bodas de Sangre

    Almeida
     
    Writer David Eldridge
    Starring
  • Jonny Lee Miller
  • Tom Hardy
  •  
    Stage adaptation of the Danish arthouse film
    Almeida
     
    Writer Debbie Tucker Green
    Starring
  • Jo McInnes
  • Sharon Duncan-Brewster
  • Mark Theodore
  •  

    Dark play about two flatmates who are drawn into the compelling world of their neighbour who is a victim of domestic abuse

    Soho Theatre
     
    Writer Tanya Ronder
    Starring
  • Michael Nardone
  • Jackie Morrison
  • Mark Lockyer
  •  
    Lope de Vega's play about peasant honour and aristocratic corruption 
    Young Vic
     
    Small Change
    Winner of the Peter Brook Empty Space Award
    Writer Peter Gill
    Starring
  • James Loye
  • Damian O'Hare
  •  

    Drama about unfinished business between two friends

    Sheffield Crucible
     
    Tall Stories
    Nominated for Manchester Evening News Award
    Writer Richard Chew & Orlando Gough
    Starring
  • The Shout
  •  
    A staged song-cycle written by Orlando Gough and Richard Chew, and performed by The Shout
    Battersea Arts Centre
     
    Afore Night Come
    The Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Newcomer
    Producer Young Vic
    Writer David Rudkin
    Starring
  • Christopher Brand
  • Edward Clayton
  • Tim Harris
  • Zoe Dawson
  •  
    David Rudkin's first play about three men who arrive at an orchard in the Black Country looking for work
    Young Vic
     
    Producer Wink Productions
    Writer Deirdre Strath
    Starring
  • Gary Oliver
  • Sarah Ball
  • Tania-Jayne Bowers
  • Julie Hesmondhalgh
  • Nicola Blackwell
  •  

    Play based around the infamous murder case involving Lizzie Borden

    Arts Threshold
     
    Writer William Shakespeare
    Starring
  • Robin Hellier
  • Paul Metcalfe
  • Nichola Blackwell
  • Andrew Maud
  • Sebastian de Morelos
  •  

    Production of William Shakespeare's play set on Prospero's island

    Arts Threshold
     
    Writer David Greig
     

    Comedy about a Palestinian pomegranate farmer attempting to deliver his crop to a fruit merchant in Ramallah

    Al Kasaba, Ramallah
     
    Writer Richard Chew & Orlando Gough
     

    Community project for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
     
    Producer ENO baylis
    Writer Eva Salzman
     

    Short piece commissioned by ENO Studio

    ENO
     
    Producer Wink Productions
    Writer Orlando Gough
     
    Battersea Arts Centre
     
     

    Created with young people from London

    Royal Court Theatre Upstairs
     
    Writer Ray Grewal
    Starring
  • Nathalie Armin
  • Adlyn Ross
  • Raj Ghatak
  •  

    Two men are left in charge of a corner shop when their parents go on holiday to India

    Birmingham Rep
     
    Writer Debbie Tucker Green
    Starring
  • Clare Perkins
  • Kim Oliver
  •  
    Soho Theatre
     
    Writer David Eldridge
    Starring
  • Jonathan Cullen
  • Samanatha Edmonds
  • Sheila Hancock
  • Lisa Palfrey
  • Justin Salinger
  •  

    Cycle of mini-plays about forming relationships at school

    Royal Court Theatre Upstairs
     
    Writer Orlando Gough
     

    Sung history of Pierrot

    ENO
     
    Writer Tennessee Williams
    Starring
  • Susannah York
  • Bill Bailey
  • Kate Duchene
  • Ed Bishop
  •  

    Play centred around a motley group of characters at a coastal bar in California

    Pleasance, London
     
    Writer Ed Hime
     

    Tragicomedy about a father and his sons attempting to sort out their feelings about women

    Royal Court Theatre, Upstairs
     
    Writer Ezra Elia
     
    For the Class Festival
    Royal Court Theatre Upstairs
     
    Writer Ivan Vidic
     

    Croatian play about a lost young generation

    Gate Theatre
     
    Producer Wink Productions
    Writer Deirdre Strath
     

    A dancer with a broken leg spends a winter convalescing and listening to the people downstairs

    Young Vic
     
    Producer YPT
    Writer Rhiannon Tise
     
    Royal Court Theatre Upstairs
     
    Producer Wink Productions
    Writer Mark Jenkinson
    Starring
  • Helena Lymbery
  • James Clyde
  •  

    Play about a man struggling with the death of his only daughter

    Young Vic
     
    Producer Wink Productions
    Writer Deirdre Strath
     
    Theatr Clywd
     
    Writer Louise Warren
     
    Battersea Arts Centre
     

    Writer & Director

    Producer BITE:05 and Barbican
    Starring
  • Russell Tovey
  • Simon Trinder
  • Sam Cox
  • Mark Lockyer
  •  
    The first major UK stage adaptation of Hergé's legendary cartoon hero
    Barbican
     
    Starring
  • Helena Lymbery
  • Danielle King
  • Daniel Cerqueira
  • James Loye
  •  
    Rufus wrote a new adaptation of the fairytale for the Young Vic and transferred to the Barbican in 2004
    Young Vic
     
    Producer Wink Productions
     
    Co-written with K Lindsay about people who have not ended up where they thought they would in life
    Young Vic