Download a full list of theatre credits, in chronological order,
with key personnel (PDF) here.
After leaving university in 1963, Trinity College Dublin, where he studied French and German, Michael Bogdanov worked in Dublin in the Gate, Olympia and Eblana Theatres, forming his own company at the Gas Co. Theatre, Dun Laoghaire with Ralph Bates and Joanna van Gysegham. He directed and co-wrote many revues, and staged variety and ballad concerts including launching The Dubliners, both on stage and on TV. He directed, produced and wrote for television in England and Ireland, where he was a producer/director for RADIO TELEFIS EIREANN from 1966-1969, where, among others, he directed ‘NEWSBEAT’, ‘THE LATE LATE SHOW’, ‘TOLKA ROW’, OB dramas and ‘ONE NIGHT STAND’ a live Show Band series. Credits in England at that time include his own satirical television series BROAD AND NARROW for ATV with Terry Brady. His first professional production in Britain was his musical version of Moliere’s Le Malade Imaginaire – THE HYPOCHONDRIAC, set in the 20s, for Terry Hands’ company at the Everyman Theatre Liverpool. After directing his own musical version set in Chicago in the 30s of another Moliere – Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme – THE BOOTLEG GENTLEMAN – at the Oxford Playhouse and the inaugural production of the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs – David Cregan’s A COMEDY OF THE CHANGING YEARS – in 1970 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as an Assistant Director. He worked as Peter Brook’s Associate on his iconic A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, both in Stratford and on a world tour, at the Roundhouse as Jean Louis Barrault’s Associate on RABELAIS, and directed OS DOS CABALLEROS DI VERONA (The Two Gentlemen of Verona) in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
In 1971, he became an Associate Director of the Tyneside Theatre Company, Newcastle-upon-Tyne where he directed some 20 productions, of which eight projects were with writer C P Taylor, including a musical version of The Bacchae, ORGY: a promenade version of Goethe’s FAUST and an audience participation musical about Marxism, REVOLUTION.
In July 1973 he became an Associate Director of the Leicester Haymarket Theatre Trust, where his production of THE RECRUITING OFFICER opened the new theatre, and became Artistic Director of the Phoenix Theatre until 1977, where, among some 20 productions he directed the Premiere of The Who’s TOMMY, devised a circus musical from the Beatles Sergeant Pepper Album LUCY IN THE SKY, and a Shakespeare Trilogy, ACTION MAN, comprising RICHARD111, HAMLET and THE TEMPEST. His production of THE MAGIC DRUM toured the UK culminating in the first regional production to have a season at the Royal National Theatre.
In 1977 he directed SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME for the Christmas season at the Royal National Theatre. In 1978 he became Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theatre for two years during Frank Dunlop’s sabbatical, opening with a production of BARTHOLEMEW FAIR and closing with a punk musical adaptation of Goethe’s FAUST.
He returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1978 to direct THE TAMING OF THE SHREW for which he received the 1979 Director of the Year Award from the Society of West End Theatres (SWET, forerunner of the Olivier Awards), and subsequently THE SHADOW OF A GUNMAN and THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE.
Following the Young Vic, Michael Bogdanov returned to the Royal National Theatre from 1980 to 1988 as an Associate Director under Sir Peter Hall where he directed THE ROMANS IN BRITAIN, , ONE WOMAN PLAYS, THE MAYOR OF ZALAMEA, LE MALADE IMAGINAIRE, UNCLE VANYA, THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, STRIDER: THE STORY OF A HORSE, LORENZACCIO, THE SPANISH TRAGEDY, MACBETH, and his own adaptations of HIAWATHA and THE ANCIENT MARINER
Between 1980-1988 he also directed a series of productions elsewhere in the world. HAMLET at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, ROMEO AND JULIET at the Imperial Theatre Tokyo, THE SEAGULL at the Nissai Theatre, Tokyo and his own 12-part series for Channel 4, SHAKESPEARE LIVES. In 1984 he directed THE MAYOR OF ZALAMEA in Washington, USA.
1985 to 1987 he directed the world premiere of the David Essex musical MUTINY! at the Piccadilly Theatre, London; the English premiere of Stockhausen’s opera DONNERSTAG AUS LICHT at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; MEASURE FOR MEASURE at Stratford, Ontario; JULIUS CAESAR and his own adaptation of Goethe’s REINEKE FUCHS at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. In 1986 he also returned to the RSC to direct ROMEO AND JULIET. In 1987 he directed the world premiere of Stockhausen’s MONTAG AUS LICHT at La Scala Opera House, Milan.
In 1986, together with the actor Michael Pennington, Michael Bogdanov co-founded and became Joint Artistic Director of the English Shakespeare Company. He directed the ESC’s inaugural productions of THE HENRYS (Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 and Henry V) and , in 1987, the seven play history cycle of THE WARS OF THE ROSES (RICHARD II, HENRY IV Parts 1 and 2, HENRY V, HENRY VI: House of Lancaster, HENRY VI: House of York and RICHARD III) touring world wide for three years and for which he received the 1990 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director. In 1991 he directed the ESC’s international tour of CORIOLANUS and THE WINTER’S TALE which travelled to Japan, Australia and India. In 1992 he also directed a pioneering Landrover version of MACBETH for four African countries ( Sierra Leone, Ghana, Malawi and Namibia) filmed as a documentary for BBC 2, concurrently launching a national and international tour of THE TEMPEST.
From July 1988 to January 1992 he was appointed Intendant (Chief Executive) of the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg (Germany’s largest National Theatre) the first non-German ever to hold such a post. There his directing credits include German language productions of HAMLET, UNDER MILK WOOD, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, MARIA STUART, GUYS AND DOLLS ( a co-production with The Theatre Royal, Plymouth which then later toured Britain with Barbara Windsor as Miss Adelaide) THE TEMPEST, THE GINGER MAN (a new version in conjunction with J.P. Donleavy) and ROMEO AND JULIET.
In 1992 he directed THE CHERRY ORCHARD at the Gate Theatre Dublin and ‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE at the Schauspielhaus, Cologne. In the summer of 1993 he directed a major revival of the musical HAIR at The Old Vic Theatre London; Goldoni’s THE VENETIAN TWINS for the RSC at Stratford, which then transferred to the Barbican. In March 1994 he directed his own version of BEOWULF for the Royal National Theatre of Denmark, (the first half of which was workshopped with students of Trinity College Dublin in the Spring of 1993), Verdi’s OTELLO at The Opera House, Essen and in September opened Brendan Behan’s THE HOSTAGE for the RSC at the Barbican. For television he devised and directed the award-winning BBC film SHAKESPEARE ON THE ESTATE. In 1995 he directed Goethe’s FAUST Parts I and II for the RSC at Stratford and PEER GYNT for the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel in Munich.
In 1996 he returned to live permanently in Wales. He directed Nikolai Gogol’s A GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR for Theatr Clwyd in Mold, a BBC drama documentary film based on The Tempest, shot in Wales, THE TEMPEST IN BUTETOWN; and BLACK COMEDY at the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel; the transfer of FAUST Parts I and II for the RSC at the Barbican and Arnold Weskers’ BREAK MY HEART for HTV. He then went on to New York to workshop a new musical THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR TEXAS for the Dodgers.
January 1997 he was back in London to direct his own adaptation of the epic Anglo-Saxon poem, BEOWULF, for the English Shakespeare Company’s 1997 season. In March he directed TIMON OF ATHENS for the Shakespeare Repertory Theatre in Chicago and in May/June a film of MACBETH for Granada Television, with Greta Scacci, commissioned for Channel 4. He finished a year of work on MACBETH with a production in the Autumn at the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel in Munich.
In 1998 he returned to BBC Wales to direct a feature film – A LIGHT IN THE VALLEY involving the communities of the Rhondda Valleys with professional actors, and in the summer directed ANTHONY & CLEOPATRA and AS YOU LIKE IT for the ESC to inaugurate the Bath Shakespeare Festival, followed by THE VENETIAN TWINS for the Guthrie Theatre Minneapolis, Autumn 1998, REINEKE FUCHS for the Altonaer Theater, Hamburg, and his own musical adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He directed his own adaptation of PEER GYNT in Cantonese at the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre – Spring 1999, and ANTONY & CLEOPATRA for the Perth Festival. In the Summer he returned to Wales to direct BBC TV’s VOICES OF A NATION, a 2 hour live Arts Special to celebrate the opening of the Welsh Assembly, and the second in a trilogy of films for BBC Wales, A LIGHT ON THE HILL, involving the farming community on the Mynydd Epynt. The year ended with a second workshop in New York of the musical THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR TEXAS.
In spring 2000 he directed the third in the trilogy for BBC Wales A LIGHT IN THE CITY (Cardiff), and in the summer went on to direct TROILUS & CRESSIDA at the Sydney Opera House, Australia as part of the Olympic Arts Festival. He followed this in the autumn with his adaptation of REINEKE FUCHS at the Burg Theater, Vienna, Austria, and in the spring of 2001 with a workshop in Berlin for the Theater Des Westens of a new musical version of THE THORN BIRDS with Colleen McCullough and Gloria Bruni. LONE STAR LOVE (Formally THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR TEXAS) was produced for the Great Lakes Festival, Cleveland in autumn 2001 with Jim Belushi. This was followed by his own adaptation of THE CANTERBURY TALES for The Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, spring 2002, and in the summer THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR for the Ludlow Festiva,followed in the Autumn by a 60 minute documentary, THE WELSH IN SHAKESPEARE for BBC. In Spring 2003 he directed THE WINTER’S TALE for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Chicago, and THE WINTER’S TALE / THE MERCHANT OF VENICE for the Ludlow Festival 2003.
In the autumn of 2003, in conjunction with Swansea City Council, and the Arts Council of Wales, he formed a new company, The Wales Theatre Company, whose inaugural production of UNDER MILK WOOD opened at the Grand Theatre Swansea followed by a national UK tour in the Spring of 2004. He directed Goldoni’s THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS for the Kammerspiele, Hamburg, January 2004 and in May 2004 he directed LADY HAMILTON, for the Cologne Opera House, Germany, launched a German version of Under Milk Wood, UNTER DEM MILCHWALD in Hamburg and on tour throughout German speaking countries, and in June directed CYMBELINE and TWELFTH NIGHT for the Ludlow Festival. A Trilogy of these two plays and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE followed for The Wales Theatre Company Autumn 2004, then LONE STAR LOVE at the John Houseman Theatre on Broadway. Spring 2005 saw the world premiere of a New Musical by Mal Pope, AMAZING GRACE , for the WTC in Swansea, and in the autumn he launched the first ever back to back Welsh/English language productions of HAMLET with the same twenty actors.
He was invited to be the Producer/Director of The 2006 UK HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY EVENT at The Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, Jan 2006, following this with DER GARDEROBIER (THE DRESSER) at the Hamburg Kammerspiele in May and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at Aberystwyth Arts Centre in July. Autumn saw a burst of activity for the WTC with his own musical adaptation of A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, co-writing A CHRISTMAS CAROL with and starring Ron Moody, and a revival of AMAZING GRACE at the Wales Millennium Centre. January 2007 he opened WAITING FOR GODOT at the Hamburg Kammerspiele, for which he was awarded the Rolf-Mares Prize for Best Director, followed by SALTO MORTALE, a concert with Uli Tukur and the Rhythmus Boys at the St.Pauli Theater. March 25th he produced and directed VALUING FREEDOM – THE BI-CENTENARY OF THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE ACT EVENT for the Welsh Assembly Government. In April he opened another new Mal Pope musical for the WTC – CONTENDER, the story of boxer Tommy Farr, followed by WEST SIDE STORY at Aberystwyth. In the autumn the WTC launched his own adaptation of Goldoni’s classic farce THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS starring Les Dennis. Spring 2008 he was back in Hamburg to direct ‘ELLING’, his adaptation of the Norwegian Oscar Nominated film with Boris Aljinovic, at the Kammerspiele, followed by MY FAIR LADY at The Aberystwyth Arts Centre and a UK Tour of ROMEO AND JULIET for the Wales Theatre Company. Spring 2009 saw the WTC launch of the World Premiere of a musical version of Colleen McCulloch’s THE THORN BIRDS which, following a six month UK tour culminated at the Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff. January 2010 he directed THE ALL WALES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY EVENT for The Welsh Assembly Government in Cardiff.
In the spring and autumn 2010 he was in Hamburg to direct the German Premiere of FROST/NIXON with Michael Ehnert and Volker Lechtenbrink and ELLING; DIE BEGEGNUNG DER DRITTEN ART at the Kammerspiele and his adaptation of ERINNERUNG AN EINE WALISISCHE WEINACHT (A Child’s Christmas in Wales) at the Altonaer Theater. Autumn 2011 he opened the new 50 Million Euro Ohnsorg Theater, Hamburg with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, a production in Plattdeutsch, followed by BRED IN HEAVEN, launched from The Swansea Grand Theatre, and then EIN BISSCHEN RUHE VOR DEM STURM and VIER MAENNER IM NEBEL, both at the Hamburger Kammerspiele. In the spring 2012 his version of Elling, reconceived as ELWYN, toured Wales for the WTC in a co-production with Aberystwyth. In the Autumn of 2012 he had two big successes with UNCLE VANYA at the Ohnsorg Theatre and the German speaking Premiere of THE KING’S SPEECH (4 awards) at the St.Pauli Theatre, both in Hamburg, followed in 2013 by ROT (Red) at the Kammerspiele and the World premiere of Helen Edmundson’s version of MEPHISTO at the Altonaer Theater, JETZT ODER NIE, World Premiere of own adaptation from the film at the Kammerspiele and in 2014 LENGEN NA LEEV (A Moon for the Misbegotten – Eugene O’Neil) at the Ohnsorg Theater.
He began 2014 with the first German speaking production of Sam Peter Jackson’s OEFFENTLICHES EIGENTUM (PUBLIC PROPERTY) at the Schlosspark Theater Berlin Spring he was at the Hamburg Kammeroper to direct the World Premiere of a new opera adaptation by Friedrich Kroll of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s THE SCARLET LETTER Summer he was at the Burgfestspiele, Jagsthausen to direct Goethe’s GOETZ von BERLICHINGEN. Autumn 2014 saw him originate and produce THE DYLATHON, a 36 hour non-stop reading of the works of Dylan Thomas at Swansea Grand Theatre to celebrate 100 years since Thomas’ birth.This was followed at the Grand and touring by his adaptation of A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, followed in the spring of by Tom McGrath’s LAUREL AND HARDY at the Kammerspiele, Hamburg. Summer he was back in Jagsthausen to direct ANATEVKA (FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) and then a world premiere of John Irving’s GARP at the Altonaer Theater.