The beginning of his career as Alan Rickman’s follow spot operator, being referred to as a grubby thruster by an Equity councillor and his tenures as Artistic Director at both the Bush Theatre and Theatre Royal Plymouth. All of this and more is discussed in our 30th episode of Regrets I've Had A Few, in our 30th year, featuring celebrated Director, Simon Stokes. 

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Read the full transcript of this episode here.


About Simon Stokes

Simon became an Artistic Director at the Bush Theatre in London from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s. A new play specialist, he developed and directed many of our now celebrated playwrights and performers.

The Bush also worked with a wide range of independent theatre companies including such as the People Show, Phantom Captain, Paines Plough, Hull Truck, the Women’s Theatre Group, Gay Sweatshop and Black Theatre Co-op.

In the 1990s he was Artistic Associate and Director of Development for Howard Panter’s Turnstyle Group, developing new plays for production in the West End.

As a freelancer, he directed in Germany, Switzerland, Israel and the USA as well in the UK.

As a director some of his most highly profiled work has included Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman at the Bush with Simon Callow and Mark Rylance, When I Was A Girl I Used to Scream and Shout by Sharman Macdonald at the Bush; the Edinburgh International Festival and the West End with, variously, Celia Imrie, Julie Walters, Geraldine James and Dawn French; A Slip of the Tongue by Dusty Hughes with John Malkovich and Ingeborga Dapkunaite; The Green Man by Doug Lucie with Phil Daniels and Danny Webb; and Monster Raving Loony by James Graham at the Drum Theatre Plymouth and Soho Theatre.

As Artistic Director at the Theatre Royal Plymouth from 1998 to 2018 he turned the Drum, a large studio space, into another nationally noticed theatre, winning many plaudits. He again followed a programming strategy of mixing Drum productions with visiting companies and developed several distinctive coproducing relationships with companies like Frantic Assembly, Ontroerend Goed, Paines Plough and Told by an Idiot.