Frank Dunlop (director)

Frank Dunlop (director)

Frank Dunlop (15 February 1927) is a British theatre director.


Early life

Dunlop was born in Leeds, England to Charles Norman Dunlop Mary Aarons. He was educated at Beauchamp College, read English at University College London where he is now a Fellow, and studied with Michel Saint-Denis at the Old Vic theatre school in London ["Who's Who in the Theatre" 17th edition, Dunlop's CV. Michel Saint-Denis ran the Old Vic theatre school from 1947-52] .

Dunlop was appointed CBE in 1977 and received the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Literature presented to him by the French government in 1987. [ [ Macnaughton Lord 2000 Ltd ] ]


Dunlop founded and directed his own young theatre company, The Piccolo Theatre in Manchester (1954), and directed "The Enchanted" at the Bristol Old Vic in 1955 where, a year later, he became its resident director, writing and staging "Les Frere Jacques". He made his West End debut at the Adelphi Theatre in 1960 with a production of "The Bishop's Bonfire".

He took over the helm at the Nottingham Playhouse from 1961-1964, including the inaugural season of the newly-built theatre in 1963, and then directed several plays in London, Oklahoma and Edinburgh. In 1966 he founded The Pop Theatre Company at the Edinburgh Festival, with productions of "The Winter's Tale" (also seen in Venice and London) and "The Trojan Women".

The National and The Young Vic

In 1967 he joned the National Theatre as Associate Director, and worked as Administrative Director from 1968 to 1971, where he directed "Home and Beauty" (1968) "The White Devil" (1969) and "The Captain of Köpenick" starring Paul Scofield (1971).

While at the National, then located at the Old Vic, he took a crucial career step with the creation of The Young Vic in 1969. His productions for them included "The Tricks of Scapino" and "The Taming of the Shrew" (1970); "The Comedy of Errors" (1971); Genet's "The Maids", "Deathwatch" and "The Alchemist" (1972); an acclaimed revival of Rattigan's "French Without Tears", and his own play"Scapino" (1974); and "Macbeth" (1975). The original, high camp production of "Bible One": "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat", starring Gary Bond, was created by him with the Young Vic company at the Edinburgh Festival in 1972, and transferred to the Round House in November 1972.

Broadway and beyond

For the RSC in 1974 he directed a revival of William Gillette's "Sherlock Holmes", starring John Wood, at the Aldwych Theatre in London, which then enjoyed a long run in New York; where he again directed "Scapino", starring Jim Dale, also seen in Los Angeles, Australia and Norway.

Dunlop's other New York successes included "Habeas Corpus" (1975) and "The Last of Mrs. Cheyney" (1978), During this period he founded and for two years ran the BAM Theatre Company, directing for them "The New York Idea", "Three Sisters", "The Devil's Disciple", "The Play's the Thing" and "Julius Caesar".

Back in England he directed "Rookery Nook" for the Birmingham Rep and the Theatre Royal Haymarket (1979), and returning to New York the following year he directed "Camelot" starring Richard Burton.

Dunlop ran the Edinburgh Festival for eight triumphant years from 1984-1991.

He has staged opera, including "Carmen" at the Royal Albert Hall, and in the summer of 2004 Jim Dale starred in the premiere of his adaptation of Kathrine Kressman Taylor's short epistolary novel "Address Unknown" at the Promenade Theatre on Broadway.


*"Who's Who in the Theatre", 16th and 17th editions, Pitman/Gale (1977/1981)
*"The National: The Theatre and its work 1963-1997" by Simon Callow, Nick Hern Books/RNT (1997)
*"Andrew Lloyd Webber: His Life and Works" by Michael Walsh, Penguin/Viking (1989)

External links


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