Winner 2008

Michael Oakley

Production: Edward II by Christopher Marlowe


Michael Oakley is a freelance theatre director.

He studied English/Writing and Performance at the University of York where he directed productions of Much Ado About Nothing, The Duchess of Malfi, The Winter's Tale, Agamemnon, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and Betrayal. He has worked as the Trainee Director in Residence at Chichester Festival Theatre and as Assistant Director on Much Ado About Nothing for Globe Education's landmark project Playing Shakespeare at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. He has also assisted on tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ! at the Bush Theatre.

Most recently, Michael directed The Invisible at the Bush Theatre and The Life and Times of Fanny Hill at Bristol Old Vic to excellent reviews, including 5 stars in The Independent. In 2012 Michael was Co-Artistic Director of Theatre on the Fly - a pop-up venue at Chichester Festival Theatre - where his production of Playhouse Creatures was awarded 5 stars in The Daily Telegraph.

I'm over the moon to have won the Award and to be given the opportunity to direct this amazing play. I passionately believe that Edward II is relevant today; it challenges our perceptions of the society we live in. I am lucky the JMK is backing a bold proposal of a classic play. It's very rare to get that support so early on in your career - Michael Oakley

EDWARD-II-at-BAC-1[2]As clear an account of Marlowe's play as you are likely to see, suggest a young director who already knows that it is telling the story that really counts - Lyn Gardner in The Guardian

EDWARD-II-at-BAC-3[2]Michael Oakley's admirable production does both the JMK award and Marlowe proud - Jeremy Kingston in The Times

A fast and polished performance that, in one of the smaller BAC spaces, is like a Donmar Warehouse production writ slightly smaller - Michael Coveney in Whatsonstage

Edward II was produced by Marwood Productions.

In 2008 Ellen McDougall won a runner-up prize supported by The Ian Ritchie Foundation during which she conducted a workshop at BAC exploring A Kind of Alaska by Harold Pinter.

The shortlisted directors were Dan Barnard, Derek Bond, James Bounds, Emma Callander, Allegra Galvin and Luke Kernaghan.

All eight finalists received a week of intensive workshops supported by Step Change and using the resources and facilities of BAC during 2009. The practitioners who took part, chosen by the finalists, were Katie Mitchell, Richard Eyre, Akram Khan, Melly Still, Wendy Spon, Laura McDermott, Ruth Little, Joe Hill-Gibbins, Mike Bradwell, Kathryn Hunter and Daniel Kramer.

Production photos by Gemma Mount/Nick Scott. Michael Oakley portrait by Nick Scott.