Mike Poulton is an award-winning dramatist who began writing for the theatre in 1995. His first two productions were UNCLE VANYA with Derek Jacobi, for the Chichester Festival Theatre (1996) London’s West End and Broadway; followed by FORTUNE’S FOOL (1996) with Alan Bates, also at Chichester and on Broadway.
Recent work includes KENNY MORGAN directed by Lucy Bailey (two sold out seasons at the Arcola Theatre, 2016), THE YORK MYSTERIES directed by Philip Breen in York Minster (2016) and his version of Hilary Mantel’s WOLF HALL and BRING UP THE BODIES, for The Swan Theatre, RSC which transferred to London’s West End and Broadway.
Also at the RSC, for Greg Doran, Mike adapted THE CANTERBURY TALES in two parts, which toured nationally and internationally; MORTE D’ARTHUR in the Courtyard Theatre; and ANJIN – THE ENGLISH SAMURAI – a co-production with Horipro, seen in Tokyo, and Osaka, and revived in Tokyo and Sadler’s Wells in London; and ST. ERKENWALD in The Other Place for David Hunt.
Other productions include: THE YORK MILLENNIUM MYSTERIES (2000) directed by Greg Doran in York Minster; THE FATHER directed by Angus Jackson (Chichester, 2006); THE CHERRY ORCHARD directed by Terry Hands (Clwyd Theatr Cymru, 2007); THE LADY FROM THE SEA directed by Lucy Bailey (Birmingham Rep, 2008); WALLENSTEIN directed by Angus Jackson (Chichester, 2009); MARY STUART directed by Terry Hands (Clywd Theatr Cymru, 2009); THE BACCHAE directed by Braham Murray (Royal Exchange, 2010); MORTE D’ARTHUR directed by Greg Doran (RSC, 2010); UNCLE VANYA directed by Lucy Bailey (two sold out seasons at The Print Room, 2010); LUISE MILLER directed by Michael Grandage (Donmar, 2011); FORTUNE’S FOOL directed by Lucy Bailey (Old Vic, 2013) and A TALE OF TWO CITIES directed by James Dacre (Royal & Derngate 2014 and revived for a UK tour 2016).
Earlier productions include THREE SISTERS (directed by Bill Bryden at the Birmingham Rep; with Charles Dance); GHOSTS (Theatre Royal Plymouth); THE SEAGULL, THREE SISTERS, THE DANCE OF DEATH and an adaptation of Euripides’ ION (all directed by David Hunt at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester).
His acclaimed version of Schiller’s DON CARLOS premiered at the Sheffield Crucible in a production directed by Michael Grandage with Derek Jacobi as King Philip II of Spain and subsequently won an Olivier Award. In 2003, his FORTUNE’S FOOL directed by Arthur Penn on Broadway received a Tony nomination for Best Play and went on to win seven major awards including the Tony for Best Actor for Alan Bates and the Tony for Best Featured Actor for Frank Langella.
Most recently, Mike returned to the RSC with a brand new version of Robert Harris’ best-selling Cicero novels. The epic event, entitled IMPERIUM, was staged as six plays, presented in two performances and opened in November 2017. Following a highly successful and sold-out run at the RSC, the production transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in Summer 2018.
He was made an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2017.