Alan trained at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Glasgow University. After leaving college he was awarded The Thames Television Regional Theatre’s Directors’s Training Award and began his Directing career with the Tyneside Theatre Company, Newcastle. He then became Associate Director of the Phoenix Theatre Company, Leicester, before becoming Artistic Director of The Wearabout Theatre Company, Sunderland. In 1982 he was invited to join The National Theatre.
Productions for the National include: The Pied Piper, a musical, which he also devised, featuring Matthew Kelly and Sylvestre McCoy; Animal Farm, adapted by Peter Hall; and Macbeth. As Associate Director: Anthony and Cleopatra with Anthony Hopkins and Judy Dench; The Tempest, Cymbeline, and The Winters Tale with Geraldine James, Eileen Atkins, Michael Bryant and Ken Stott. As Staff Director: Inner Voices with Ralph Richardson and Robert Stephens; Coming Into Land by Stephen Poliakoff with Maggie Smith; Coriolanus with Ian McKellen; You Cant Take It With You with Jimmy Jewell and Geraldine McEwan; Martine and Lorenzaccio, both by John Fowles; The Petition with John Mills and Rosemary Harris.
After leaving the National Alan was appointed Artistic Director of the Ludlow Festival. Productions include: Macbeth with Haydn Gwyne and David Rintoul; As You Like It with John Gordon Sinclair and Victoria Wickes; Othello with Greg Hicks and Wendy Morgan.
Alan’s freelance work includes: Dangerous Obsession for the Theatre Royal Bath with Ian Ogilvy and Lisa Goddard; Misery with Susan Penhaligon and Michael Praed; A Right Royal Farce; Lettice and Lovage, British Tour; The Merchant of Venice for The English Shakespeare Co; Just Between Ourselves and Absurd Person Singular, both by Alan Ayckbourne; The Three Musketeers for the Crucible Theatre Sheffield; The Darling Buds of May, British Tour with Christopher Timothy and Gemma Craven; The Party’s Over by Alan Bleasdale; Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet ; Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Nights Dream, all in New York; National Opera Studio productions at the Festival Hall, London; Numerous Pantomime productions include Peter Pan with Russ Abbott; Babes In the Wood at the Kings Theatre, Glasgow; Cinderella at Cork Opera House; as well as productions for Plymouth, Woking, Nottingham, Milton Keynes and Newcastle.
Alan was also Artistic Director of The New Vic Theatre Co. Directing productions of Dracula, A Tale of Two Cities and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame that toured throughout Britain and the United States. He was the Tour Director for The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Tantalus project by Peter Hall and John Barton which originated in Denver, Colorado and after an extensive tour transferred to the Barbican Theatre, London.Much of Alan’s work has taken him abroad. Notably, The Moscow Art Theatre; The Globe Theatre in Tokyo; and Epidaurus in Greece. He has also worked at The Cameri Theatre, Tel Aviv; the Theatre of Nations Festival in Baltimore in addition to productions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, New York, Vienna, Helsinki, Madrid and Zurich.
Alan has been a guest lecturer, director and teacher at many of the UK’s leading drama schools. Including The National Opera Studio, Central Drama School St Martin’s College of Art.
In addition Alan has directed Shan Khan’s award winning play Office for BBC Scotland’s Culture Show; presented an episode of Brass Tacks for the BBC and attended the National Film School Most recently he has directed the national tour of the hit musical Hot Flush.