Simon Godwin
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Simon Godwin

Simon Godwin is an English theatre director based in Washington, DC, where he is currently serving as Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theatre Company. Previously he was based in London, serving as Associate Director of London's Royal National Theatre, Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre and Associate Director at Bristol Old Vic.


Godwin was educated at the Anna Scher Theatre School,[1] an independent stage school in Islington in north London, followed by the University of Cambridge, where he studied English.[2] In 2005 he began a two year post graduate program at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) where he studied physical theatre and devising.


Simon began directing at Cambridge University, where he studied English. After graduating he began producing classical work including Romeo and Juliet[3] for the Cambridge Arts Theatre and the Marlowe Society. Godwin was then assistant director to Dominic Dromgoole and Tim Supple. He then founded Stray Dogs Theatre Company producing Inkle and Yarico, as well as Eurydice at the BAC before it transferred to the Whitehall Theatre in the West End,[4][5] which made it one of the youngest companies ever to have work staged in London's West End. This was followed by All's Well That Ends Well for a national tour.

In 2001 Simon became Associate Director at the Royal and Derngate Theatres in Northampton where he worked as the deputy to the Artistic Director, Rupert Goold and directed seven main stage shows, including The Seagull, Habeas Corpus, Relatively Speaking and with Salisbury Playhouse, and Quartermaine's Terms by Simon Gray.

In 2008 he joined Tom Morris, as the Associate Director of The Bristol Old Vic, where he directed The Little Mermaid, Krapp's Last Tape/A Kind Of Alaska, Faith Healer and Far Away.

At the Tabard Theatre his production of The Country by Martin Crimp was well received, and in 2008 he became part of the Royal Court International Residency. At the Almeida Theatre in 2009 he directed All The Little Things We Crushed by Joel Horwood, followed by a critically acclaimed national tour of The Winter's Tale for Schtanhaus and Nuffield Theatre Southampton, in association with Headlong.

In 2009 Simon became Associate Director of the Royal Court. While there Simon directed seven world premieres, including Routes, If You Don't Let Us Dream, We Won't Let You Sleep, NSFW, The Witness, Goodbye to All That, The Acid Test, and Wanderlust, for which he was longlisted for Evening Standard Awards Best Newcomer in 2010.[6]

Godwin subsequently joined Bristol Old Vic as Associate Director, directing productions of Far Away (Caryl Churchill) and Faith Healer (Brian Friel). The latter was subsequently remounted in 2012 as part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival.[7]

In 2012 Simon was awarded the inaugural Evening Standard/Burberry Award for an Emerging Director.[8]

In 2013 Simon made his debut at the National Theatre with Strange Interlude with Anne Marie Duff  followed by Man and Superman with Ralph Fiennes. When Rufus Norris became the new Artistic Director of the National Theatre in 2015, he invited Simon to become part of his team of permanent Associates.[9]

Simon has also enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2001 he directed The Two Gentlemen of Verona followed in 2016 by an acclaimed Hamlet, which toured to The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.[10][11]  

His forthcoming production of Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo opens at the National Theatre,[12] London in September 2018, followed by Timon of Athens, starring Kathryn Hunter as Timon at the Royal Shakespeare Company in early 2019. Later next year Simon will make his Tokyo debut, directing a Japanese cast in Hamlet for Theatre Cocoon.

In September 2018 Simon was appointed Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company Washington D.C. effective 1 August 2019.[13][14]


Godwin's directing career includes:

Year Title Production
2019 Hamlet
by William Shakespeare
Theatre Cocoon
2018 Timon of Athens

by William Shakespeare

Royal Shakespeare Company
2018 Antony & Cleopatra

by William Shakespeare

National Theatre
2017 Rules for Living

by Sam Holcroft

Royal & Derngate Theatre
2017 Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare

National Theatre
2016 Hamlet
by William Shakespeare
Royal Shakespeare Company (2016) and The Kennedy Center (2018)[10]
2016 The Cherry Orchard

By Anton Chekhov

Roundabout Theatre Company
2015 Richard II
by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare's Globe
2015 The Beaux' Stratagem
by George Farquhar
National Theatre
2015 Man and Superman
by George Bernard Shaw
National Theatre
2014 The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by William Shakespeare

Royal Shakespeare Theatre
2013 If You Don't Let Us Dream, We Won't Let You Sleep

by Anders Lustgarten

Royal Court Theatre
2013 The Little Mermaid

by Joel Horwood

Bristol Old Vic
2013 Routes
by Rachel De-lahay
Royal Court Theatre
2013 Strange Interlude
by Eugene O'Neill
National Theatre
2012 NSFW
by Lucy Kirkwood
Royal Court Theatre
2012 The Witness
by Vivienne Franzmann
Royal Court Theatre
2012 A Kind of Alaska & Krapp's Last Tape
by Harold Pinter & Samuel Beckett
Bristol Old Vic
2012 Goodbye To All That
by Luke Norris
Royal Court Theatre
2011 The Acid Test
by Anya Reiss
Royal Court Theatre
2011 Faith Healer
by Brian Friel
Bristol Old Vic and Hong Kong Arts Festival (2012)
2010 Wanderlust
by Nick Payne
Royal Court Theatre
2010 Far Away
by Caryl Churchill
Bristol Old Vic
2009 The Winter's Tale
by William Shakespeare
National Tour
2009 All The Little Things We Crushed
by Joel Horwood
Almeida Theatre
2008 The Country
by Martin Crimp
Tabard Theatre
2004 Relatively Speaking

by Alan Ayckbourne

Royal & Derngate Theatre
2001 Romeo & Juliet

by William Shakespeare

Cambridge Arts Theatre
1999 Eurydice

by Jean Anouilh

Battersea Arts Centre and Whitehall Theatre
1998 Inkle and Yarico

by George Coleman

Battersea Arts Centre


  1. ^ Gemma Kappala-Ramsamy and Kate Kellaway (1 January 2012). "Stage picks for 2012: Katherine Kelly, Simon Godwin and Claire Calvert - Simon Godwin". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Simon Godwin Background
  3. ^ Romeo and Juliet
  4. ^ Eurydice Archived December 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Billington, Michael (14 July 1999). "Eurydice". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ Evening Standard Awards "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-30. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-04. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Playbill report of Evening Standard awards, 25 November 2012. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-05. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Theatre, National. "Who's Who". The National Theatre. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Simon Godwin 2016 production | Hamlet | Royal Shakespeare Company". Retrieved .
  11. ^ Billington, Michael (2016-03-23). "Hamlet review - Paapa Essiedu is a graffiti prince in RSC's bright tragedy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Theatre, National. "Antony & Cleopatra". The National Theatre.
  13. ^ "Meet Simon Goodwin". Shakespeare Theatre Company. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ Pressley, Nelson (6 September 2018). "Shakespeare Theatre Company names U.K.'s Simon Godwin to succeed Kahn" (6 September 2018). The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018.

External links

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