Joe
Murphy

Director for Theatre

Joe Murphy is Artistic Director of Sherman Theatre. He was awarded the 2016 directorship in residence at the Old Vic, following his former role as the Artistic Director of Nabokov, a writing company dedicated to responding to immediately relevant social and political themes. Most recently he was associate director on the Old Vic's production of Present Laughter.

Joe directed What I Learned From Johnny Bevan, featuring Luke Wright, which won two Fringe First Awards at Edinburgh and was followed by a run at Soho Theatre. Prior to this Joe worked in New York as Associate Director of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall II on Broadway. He was previously Assistant Director for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the RSC at Stratford and the Aldwych Theatre in the West End. Prior to this he directed Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, adapted by Angus Jackson for the Chilren's Touring Partnership.

Joe’s production of Bunny won the Scotsman Fringe First Award following its premiere in Edinburgh and went on to tour the UK. His other theatre credits include the 2nd May Response Plays at The Bush, which starred Sally Phillips and John Heffernan and were written by James Graham, Penelope Skinner, Jack Thorne and Joel Horwood. He directed the London premiere of Joe Harbot’s The Boy on the Swing and was the Resident Director for the West End run of Ghost Stories, at the Duke of York Theatre.

Joe also directed Nabokov/Soho Theatre co-production Blink which premiered at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, went on to the Soho Theatre and then toured the UK. Described by the Evening Standard as ‘a joy to watch’, Blink enjoyed a revival at the Soho Theatre and a run in New York. Joe also directed EV Crowe's play Virgin at The Watford Palace Theatre, and more recently the critically acclaimed Incognito, by Nick Payne, at the Bush Theatre.

CV

Theatre

Associate Director 

Director Matthew Warchus
Writer Noël Coward
Starring
  • Andrew Scott
  • Noël Coward's modern reflection on fame, desire and loneliness.

    The Old Vic
    Director Andy Nyman, Jeremy Dyson & Sean Holmes
    Writer Andy Nyman & Jeremy Dyson
    Starring
  • Simon Lipkin
  • The twisted love-letter to horror and edge-of-your-seat theatrical experience.

    The Lyric Hammersmith
    Producer RSC, Playful Productions
    Director Jeremy Herrin
    Writer Hilary Mantel, Mike Poulton
    Starring
  • Lydia Leonard
  • Ben Miles
  • Joey Batey
  • Hilary Mantel’s exhilarating stories of power and persuasion in Tudor England.

    Winter Garden Theater, Broadway

    Director 

    Producer Children's Touring Partnership
    Writer Angus Jackson
    Starring
  • Kit Lessner
  • Marianne Oldham
  • Eva Bell
  • Set during World War II, the story of forbidden friendship which has startling and devastating consequences. 

    Chichester Festival Theatre
    Producer HighTide/nabokov/Live Theatre Newcastle in association with the North Wall
    Writer Nick Payne
    Starring
  • Paul Hickey, Amelia Lowdell, Alison O'Donnell & Sargon Yelda
  • New commission premiering at HighTide Festival 2014 focusing on identity and memory.

    High Tide Festival/ Bush Theatre
    Producer Watford Palace Theatre/Nabakov Theatre
    Writer E.V. Crowe
    Starring
  • Laura Elphinstone
  • Simon Darwen
  • Rosie Wyatt
  • Michael Shelford
  • Emily, a busy working mother and commuter, can't wait for broadband to reach her remote country farmhouse. When ambitious young Sally arrives to work with her on the project, she's invited to stay. But being connected means different things to these two generations of women, and Emily finds her ideas of friendship and privacy tested to the limit...
    Watford Palace Theatre
    Producer Shakespeare's Globe
    Writer William Shakespeare
    Starring
  • Leah Whitaker
  • Kate Lamb
  • The all female cast play multiple roles dressed with Wes Anderson quirk and are supported by original, folksy musical interludes. Following its run at the Globe the production toured internationally.

    The Globe
    Producer Drum Theatre
    Writer Glenn Waldron
    Starring
  • Dylan Kennedy
  • Tom Peters
  • Leah Whittaker
  • A story of buried secrets and new beginnings, Forever House is the debut play of Westcountry-born writer Glenn Waldron. It’s a pitch-black comedy drama that asks the question: can you ever really start again?
    Plymouth Theatre Royal
    Producer Paul Jellis
    Writer Phil Porter
    Starring
  • Rosie Wyatt
  • Blink is the tale of Jonah, Sophie, and a fox called Scruffilitis. It’s a love story. A dysfunctional, voyeuristic and darkly funny love story, but a love story all the same. Collaboration between Soho Theatre and Fringe First winners nabokov.

    Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012, UK tour, Soho Theatre, Jagriti Theatre Bangalore 2013
    Creator Nabokov
    Writer Ella Hickson, Nick Payne & Tom Wells
    Starring
  • Remy Beasley
  • Jack Brown
  • Iddon Jones
  • Theatre meets live gig in a new writing mash up.

    Outdoor Festivals Tour/National Theatre Watch this Space
    Creator Nabokov
    Writer EV Crowe
    Starring
  • Paul Woodson
  • A collaboration between Nabokov and EV Crowe about the rebellion of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

    Edinburgh Festival Fringe and UK tour
    Writer Joe Harbot
    Starring
  • Will Barton
  • Nick Blood
  • Peter Bourke
  • London premiere of Joe Harbot's play
    The Arcola
    Bunny
    Scotsman Fringe First Award 2010
    Producer Nabakov
    Writer Jack Thorne
    Starring
  • Rosie Wyatt
  • Feisty 18-year-old Katie is forced on a white knuckle ride through one extraordinary evening when her boyfriend is attacked on the street. Amidst the baying for blood and longing for love, Katie is forced to decide her future. Bunny is in an exhilarating coming-of-age tale from one of Britain's most celebrated contemporary writers. The production won a Scotsman Fringe First Award in Edinburgh before touring the UK and New York.

    Edinburgh Festival Fringe, UK and US tour
    Producer Dan Baker
    Starring
  • Nathan Bryan
  • Karla Crome
  • Iddon Jones
  • Georgia Leonidas
  • Performance devised with first time voters presented at the Bush the day before the 2010 general election
    The Bush
    Writer Jessica Hynes
    Starring
  • Emily Lawrance
  • Ben Benson
  • nabokov Arts Club
    Writer Mike McClean
    The Liverpool Everyman
    Writer Jessica Hynes
    Short play first performed at Southwark Playhouse as part of Present Tense
    Southwark Playhouse
    Writer James Graham, Penelope Skinner, Jack Thorne, Joel Horwood
    Series of short response plays to Jack Thorne's play about three couples living through the 1997 general election
    The Bush
    Writer Lisa McGee
    One of five fully performed and presented short plays for the Arcola
    The Arcola
    Writer Kenneth Emson
    Tristan Bates Theatre
    Writer Declan Feenan
    Starring
  • Sarah Chaplin
  • Niamh McGrady
  • Amy Molloy
  • The Arcola
    Writer Kenneth Emson
    Starring
  • Matt Addis
  • Nick Read
  • The Hampstead Theatre
    Writer Kenneth Emson
    The Tabard Theatre
    Writer Anthony Neilson
    Starring
  • Kate Malyon
  • Martin Ritchie
  • The Cockpit Theatre
    The Tristan Bates Theatre
    Writer David Mamet
    Camden People's Theatre

    Assistant Director 

    Adaptation from the Booker Prize winning novels by Hilary Mantel about Thomas Cromwell's ascent to the court of Henry VIII.

    RSC Stratford
    Director Dominic Dromgoole
    Writer William Shakespeare
    Starring
  • Brid Brennan
  • Graham Butler
  • Nigel Cooke
  • Sam Cox
  • Shakespeare's Globe
    Director Jeremy Herrin
    Starring
  • Eve Best
  • Charles Edwards
  • Globe Theatre
    Writer Michael Wynne
    Starring
  • Jessica Hynes
  • Alastair Mackenzie
  • Rupert Penry-Jones
  • Charlotte Riley
  • Michael Wynne's ensemble comedy played Downstairs at the Royal Court
    Royal Court Theatre, Downstairs
    Director Georges Perrin
    Writer Jack Thorne
    Starring
  • James Barrett
  • Linda Broughton
  • James Samuel
  • Hugh Skinner
  • The Bush
    Director Nathan Curry
    Writer Lydia Adetunji
    Starring
  • Todd Boyce
  • Roger Evans
  • Tunji Falana
  • Rae Hendrie
  • The Cut, Hightide Festival
    Director Hamish Pirie
    Writer Steven Berkoff
    Short play inspired by the East End of London created for the third annual East Festival
    The Arcola
    Creator National Theatre
    Writer James Graham
    Set in the engine rooms of Westminster, This House strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes.
    The Cottosloe Theatre
    Director Derek Bond
    Writer Lisa McGee
    Starring
  • Niamh McGrady
  • Bronagh Taggart
  • Two girls in their twenties reflect on their childhood, growing up in Belfast
    The Old Red Lion
    Director Anthony Weigh
    Writer Mike Bartlett
    Starring
  • Tom Brooke
  • Monologue created as part of The Broken Spaces Season
    The Bush

    Executive Producer 

    Director Sean Holmes, Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson
    Writer Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson
    Starring
  • Jonathan Broadbent
  • David Cardy
  • John Lightbody
  • Andy Nyman
  • Duke of York's Theatre, West End
    Director Sarah Frankcom
    Writer Simon Stephens
    Starring
  • Nicholas Banks
  • Edward Franklin
  • Mike Noble
  • Rupert Simonian
  • The Lyric Hammersmith
    Writer Richard Bean, Ash Ditta, David Grossman, Kate Hardie, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Polly Stenham, Tom Stoppard, Jack Thorne, Debbie Tucker Green
    Human rights charity performance at the Royal Court
    Royal Court Theatre, Downstairs