Gordon, Mick 1975-

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Gordon, Mick 1975-

PERSONAL:

Born 1975. Education: Graduated from Oxford University.

CAREER:

Artistic director of On Theatre (theater company) and On Film; special advisor to the British Council. Formerly Trevor Nunn's associate director, Royal National Theatre, and director of Royal National Theatre's Transformation Season; artistic director, Gate Theatre, 1998-2000. Credits include director, Igor Stravinsky, Renard (ballet), Welsh National Opera, 1993; assistant director, Cinderella, European Chamber Opera, 1994; director, Gian-Carlo Menotti, The Telephone, European Chamber Opera, 1994; Giuseppi Verdi, Rigoletto, European Chamber Opera, 1994; director and designer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Cosi fan tutti, Epsom Playhouse, 1993; devisor and director, Jungle Town (jazz musical; adapted from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book), Greenwich Park and the Oxford Playhouse, 1994; devisor and director, Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland (jazz musical), Oxford Playhouse, 1994; director, Giacomo Puccini, Tosca, Holland Park Festival, 1995, Gioachino Rossini, La Cenerentola, Holland Park Festival, 1995, Verdi, La Traviata, Theatre Artaud, 1995; The Soldier's Tale, Battersea Arts Center, 1995; The Promise, Battersea Arts Centre, 1995; Arabian Nights, English Touring Theatre, 1996; William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Parts I and II, National Theatre Studio, 1996; Shakespeare, Hamlet, English Touring Theatre, 1997; Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Wyndham's Theatre, 1997; Yasmina Reza, Art, 1997; visiting director, Nada Project, Strindberg Theatre, Stockholm, Sweden, 2003; director, Harold Pinter, Betrayal, 2003; Tom Stoppard, The Real Thing, Dramatan Elverket, Stockholm, Sweden, 2004; Nick Grosso, A Play in Swedish, English and Italian, Soho Theatre, 2005; Lars Noren, War (new version by Rebecca Gilman), Strindberg Theatre, Stockholm, 2006; Brian Friel, Winners, Losers, Dramatan, Stockholm, Sweden, 2006; Alfian Bin Sa'at, Optic Trilogy, Soho Theatre, 2006; Brian Friel, Dancing at Lughnasa, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, 2007.

Director and adapter, Intimate Death (from Marie de Hennezel's La Morte intime); Brian Friel, Volunteers; Aime Cesaire, Une Tempete, The Riverside; director and adapter, Oscar Wilde, Salome; Eduardo Erba, Marathon; Patrick Marber, Closer, Belfast Old Courhouse; Gary Mitchell, Mad-Dog, Royal Court; Trust, Cottesloe Theatre; Colin Teevan, The Walls, Young Vic; Serge Valetti, Le Pub!, translated by Richard Bean, Lyttelton Theatre; and A Prayer for Owen Meany (adapted from the novel by John Irving), Royal National Theatre.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Critics Award for best production, 2003, for Nada Project; NESTA Dream Time Award, 2005, for A Play in Swedish, English and Italian; Critics Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer; Peter Brook Award for Most Outstanding Theatre; ACE Awards for best production, My Fair Lady, Blanca Podesta, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Art, Producciones Teatrales Alejandro Romay, Buenos Aires.

WRITINGS:

(And director) Love's Work (play), produced in Buenos Aires, Argentina, c. 1999.

(With Colin Teevan; and director) Monkey (play), produced at Lyttelton Theatre, c. 2002.

On Death: A Theatre Essay, Oberon Books (London, England), 2005.

(With Paul Broks) On Ego: A Theatre Essay, Oberon (London, England), 2005.

On Love: A Theatre Essay, Oberon Books (London, England), 2005.

Also author of play On Love in Uzbekistan.

SIDELIGHTS:

Stage director Mick Gordon has attracted a huge amount of attention in a relatively short career. Since 1998, when he was named artistic director of London's Gate Theatre, he has garnered numerous critical awards, including a Critics Circle award for the most promising newcomer, a Peter Brook award for most outstanding theatre, and an ACE award for his production of the Lerner and Lowe hit musical My Fair Lady. After leaving the Gate Theatre, he was named associate director of the Royal National Theatre under the leadership of renowned director Trevor Nunn. At the National, according to Guardian contributor Lynn Gardner, Gordon was responsible for "Transformations, a six-month season of work that asked a very different question: whether the National could ever be a home for a new generation of theatre-makers and -goers who had a very different performance vocabulary from their predecessors." "Gordon sliced the Lyttelton into two auditoria," Gardner explained, "brought in Kathryn Hunter, Matthew Bourne and Deborah Warner as directors, gave young writers such as Roy Williams, Tanika Gupta and Simon Bent a place in the repertoire and introduced a cheap ticketing policy." The result was a resurgence in theatre attendance and what Paul Taylor, writing in the Independent, called "a more youth-conscious programme."

After a period directing plays across Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, Gordon returned to London and opened a new company called On Theatre. He also launched a series of new productions designed to bring the philosophy of theatre to a wider audience. On Ego: A Theatre Essay, "he says," wrote Gardner, "is a way of "speaking as intelligently as possible to the preoccupations of my contemporaries. It's a piece of theatre philosophy, or a theatre essay—although that's the kind of term that keeps marketing executives up all night worrying how they can sell it." Based on the work Into the Silent Land by neuropsychologist Paul Broks, On Ego presents the stories of individuals grappling with the impact of different neurological diseases, and how the struggles they undergo influence their characters. In that sense, On Ego is both an examination of a scientific/medical issue and an examination of how actors create characters different from their own selves in the course of their work. "The resulting drama," stated Taylor, "is both philosophically stretching and gut-wrenchingly ambivalent, making creative capital of the fact that actors, by virtue of their work, are natural bundle theorists [believing that the sense of self is rooted in various discrete areas of the brain] and that theatre is adept at finding physically immediate metaphors for difficult concepts." "The play," concluded Neil Dowden on the CurtainUp Web site, "makes complex scientific ideas accessible in an entertaining and thought-provoking manner."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Guardian, November 29, 2005, Lynn Gardner, "How Meat Becomes Mind."

Independent, December 1, 2005, Paul Taylor, "Mick Gordon: The Ego Has Landed."

ONLINE

CurtainUp,http://www.curtainup.com/ (November 24, 2007), Neil Dowden, "A CurtainUp London Review: On Ego."

PFD,http://www.pfd.co.uk/ (November 24, 2007), "Mick Gordon (Director)."