James Dacre

James Charles Dacre (born May 1984), is a British theatre director. He has been artistic director of Royal & Derngate Theatres in Northampton since 2013.[1]

James Dacre
James Charles Dacre

May 1984 (age 36)
Alma materJesus College, Cambridge
Columbia University School of the Arts
OccupationTheatre director
TitleArtistic director, Royal & Derngate
Parent(s)Paul Dacre
Kathy Dacre

Early years

James Dacre was born in 1984,[2] the son of Paul Dacre, former editor of the Daily Mail.[3] He won a King's Scholarship to Eton[4] where he won the Newcastle Scholarship and then studied Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion[5] at Cambridge University where he edited Varsity, the student newspaper[6] and directed at the ADC, taking several productions to the Edinburgh Festival.[3] On graduating, he won a Fulbright Scholarship and Shubert Fellowship to study Theatre Directing at Columbia University School of the Arts in New York.[7] Dacre then worked as an assistant director to twelve directors including Anne Bogart, Robert Woodruff and Silviu Purcărete, and trained on the ITV/Channel 4 regional theatre director scheme[8] at the New Vic Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent.


On returning from America, Dacre directed and produced The Mountaintop,[9] which transferred to the West End and went on to become the surprise winner of the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play.[10] Subsequently, he became Associate Director at the New Vic Theatre and Theatre503[11] and directed in the West End and at Shakespeare's Globe, Royal Exchange Theatre, Royal National Theatre and many regional theatres before taking up his current role at Royal & Derngate.

In 2015 Royal & Derngate won the UK Theatre Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre[12] for an ambitious season of productions staged nationwide including the world premiere of Arthur Miller's The Hook[13][14] produced to mark the centenary of his birth[15][16] and Shakespeare's King John[17] staged at Shakespeare's Globe, Salisbury Cathedral,[18] Temple Church and The Holy Sepulchre to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta.[19]

In 2016 Royal & Derngate was shortlisted for The Stage's Regional Theatre of the Year Award,[20] having reached more than half a million audiences across the UK and toured to over 65 theatres that year. In 2016 Dacre's production of The Herbal Bed[21] won Best Touring Production at the UK Theatre Awards.[22]

Selected work


  1. ^ "James Dacre announced as new artistic director at Royal & Derngate". Evening Standard. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  2. ^ "James Charles DACRE". Companies House. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b Cavendish, Dominic (21 January 2013). "James Dacre interview: 'In ten minutes almost a thousand men were slaughtered'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  4. ^ Lawson, Mark (16 September 2014). "James Dacre: Theatres must learn to collaborate more". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  5. ^ djg39@cam.ac.uk. "Alumni profiles – Faculty of Divinity". divinity.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  6. ^ "James Dacre brings his acclaimed version of Shakespeare's 'King". The Independent. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  7. ^ "James Dacre: Director". ideastap.com. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Directors, alumni and past participants – RTYDS". rtyds.co.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  9. ^ "James Dacre: American words, British production". The Independent. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  10. ^ Malvern, Jack. "Katori Hall wins Best New Play title at Olivier Awards". Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Theatre503 appoints new associate directors | News | The Stage". The Stage. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Franco-British Young Leader Biographies" (PDF). francobritish.org.
  13. ^ Smith, David (2016). "Interview with Director James Dacre". The Arthur Miller Journal. 11 (1): 37–47. doi:10.5325/arthmillj.11.1.0037. JSTOR 10.5325/arthmillj.11.1.0037.
  14. ^ Masters, Tim (24 November 2014). "Unseen Arthur Miller drama set for world premiere". BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  15. ^ Trueman, Matt (10 June 2015). "Arthur Miller's The Hook: world premiere for 'snarling beast of a play'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  16. ^ Sulcas, Roslyn (24 June 2015). "Arthur Miller's Screenplay 'The Hook' Finds a Home Onstage in England". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  17. ^ "King John, Shakespeare's Globe, review: 'could hardly be more timely'". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Salisbury International Arts Festival 2015 diary: Day 4". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  19. ^ "King John, by the Globe Theatre, at the Salisbury Festival | Magna Carta Trails". magnacartatrails.com. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  20. ^ "The Stage Awards 2016 | The Stage". The Stage. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  21. ^ "'The Herbal Bed', Shakespeare's daughter and modern media intrusion". The Independent. 8 February 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  22. ^ "UK Theatre Award Winners 2016". uktheatre.org.

External links