Matthew Bourne is the creator of the world’s longest-running ballet production and is the only British director to have won the Tony Award for Best Director and Best Choreographer of a Musical in the same year (1999). In 2002 he launched his latest venture, NEW ADVENTURES, to create all his future independent work. In the summer of last year he premièred Play Without Words as part of the National Theatre’s Transformation Season to great critical and popular acclaim. The production went on to be nominated for a record five 2003 Olivier Awards (winning two) and The South Bank Show Award for Dance. A new production of Nutcracker! followed, breaking all box-office records at Sadlers Wells Theatre over the Christmas season. Matthew is the choreographer of the brand new Disney and Cameron Mackintosh production of Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End.
Matthew started dancing at the age of 22, when he enrolled at the Laban Centre. He was awarded a BA (Hons) degree in 1986 and spent a further year performing with the Laban Centre’s Transitions Dance Company. As a dancer he was a founder member of Lea Anderson’s Featherstonehaughs and created many roles with his own company. His final performance as a dancer came in January 1999, playing the Private Secretary in the Broadway production of Swan Lake.
Matthew Bourne was the Artistic Director of Adventures in Motion Pictures from 1987 until 2002. During those 15 years AMP became the UK’s most innovative and popular dance/theatre company, winning countless awards for its groundbreaking work, both at home and internationally.
Film work includes Late Flowering Lust (BBC), Drip (AMP/BBC), Roald Dahl’s Little Red Riding Hood (BBC), Swan Lake (AMP/BBC; Emmy nomination), The Car Man (AMP/C4) and Nutcracker! (BBC1) He was the subject of a South Bank Show in 1997 and in 1999 he presented Channel 4’s Dance 4 series. His production of Swan Lake is featured in Stephen Daldry’s film Billy Elliot. The Channel 4 documentary, Bourne to Dance, which he presented, was shown on Christmas Day 2001.
Other theatre work includes As You Like It (RSC/John Caird), Children of Eden (West End/John Caird), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Aix en Provence/Robert Carsen), The Tempest (NYT), Show Boat (Malmo Stadsteater, Sweden), Peer Gynt (Barbican/Yukio Ninagawa), Watch With Mother (NYDC), Boutique (Images of Dance), Watch Your Step (Irving Berlin Gala), Oliver! (London Palladium/Sam Mendes), French and Saunders Live in 2000 (UK tour), My Fair Lady (NT/ Theatre Royal, Drury Lane/Trevor Nunn, Olivier Award), South Pacific (NT/Trevor Nunn), Dearest Love (George Piper Dances).
As well as creating roles for major dancers Lynn Seymour and Adam Cooper, he has made dances for many leading actors including Sir Nigel Hawthorne, Julie Walters, Dawn French, Martine McCutcheon and Jonathan Pryce.
In 1999 Faber and Faber published Matthew Bourne and his Adventures in Motion Pictures, edited by theatre and dance writer, Alastair Macaulay. Matthew is a Director of The Spitfire Trust and in 1997 was made an Honorary Fellow of his former college, the Laban Centre. In the 2001 New Years Honours list he was awarded an OBE for services to dance and in 2003 is the recipient of the prestigious Hamburg Shakespeare Prize for the Arts.