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in the Wings on a World Stage

SAM MENDES

Sam Mendes’s work directing theatre and film spans 25 years. At 24, he became the first Artistic Director of the Minerva Theatre in Chichester.  At 27, he founded the Donmar Warehouse in London, which he ran for ten years, and where he directed many productions including “Assassins,” “Cabaret,” “Translations,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Company,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Habeas Corpus,” “The Blue Room,” “To The Green Fields Beyond,” “Uncle Vanya” and “Twelfth Night.”  The Donmar has become one of the world’s leading playhouses.

 In 1998 he directed his first film “American Beauty,” winning the Academy Award® for Best Director, Best Picture, as well as the Golden Globe® and Directors Guild Awards.  The film also received eight nominations and won four, including Best Actor for his “Richard III” star Kevin Spacey.   Mendes has since directed the Academy Award-winning “Road to Perdition,” “Jarhead,” “Revolutionary Road,” “Away We Go,” and the BAFTA and Academy Award®-winning “Skyfall,” the most successful film of all time in the UK and one of the most successful of all time worldwide.

In 2009, he founded the Bridge Project, a transatlantic classical theatre company, for which he directed “The Winter’s Tale,” “The Cherry Orchard,” “The Tempest,” “As You Like It,” and “Richard III.”  

Mendes’ other theatre credits include:  For the Royal Shakespeare Company: “Troilus and Cressida,” “Richard III,” “The Tempest” and “The Alchemist.” For the National Theatre: “The Sea, ” “The Birthday Party, ” “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice,” “Othello,” and “King Lear.” In the West End: “The Cherry Orchard,” “London Assurance,” “Kean,” “Oliver!” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which is currently running in London at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.   His Broadway credits include “Cabaret,” “The Blue Room,” “Gypsy” and “The Vertical Hour.” 

In 2003, Mendes founded Neal Street Productions with Pippa Harris and Caro Newling.  Neal Street has produced the BAFTA award-winning television series “Call the Midwife” and “The Hollow Crown,” as well as the movies “Things We Lost in the Fire,” “Stuart A Life Backwards” and “Starter for 10.”   For the theatre, Neal Street also produced the long-running “Shrek The Musical.”
 
Mendes’ many theatre awards include four Olivier Awards, two Tony Awards, four Evening Standard Awards, several Critics’ Choice Awards and the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize.  

He was awarded a CBE in 2000 and a Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

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