Artistic Director Paul Stebbings
Paul Stebbings is Artistic Director of TNT theatre Britain and the American Drama Group Europe, which combine to make “the world’s most popular touring theatre company” (China National TV) – giving more performances in more countries in a single year than any other theatre company. Paul received a first class degree from Bristol University drama department.
He trained in the Grotowski physical theatre method in Britain and Poland and founded TNT in 1980. In 1993 he joined forces with producer Grantly Marshall and the American Drama Group Europe. He is a playwright and actor as well as a director and has also worked extensively in music theatre. He is a regular director at China’s best theatre: The Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and for the noted Latin American company Teatro Espressivo de Costa Rica.
He has directed professionally in Russian, German, Italian and Greek and is in continuous production of plays in Mandarin and Spanish. He has won numerous awards in places as diverse as the Edinburgh Festival, the Munich Biennale, Singapore and Iran. Paul received an MBE at Buckingham Palace last February for his contribution to British culture.
Paul Stebbings MBE - Biography 2018
PAUL STEBBINGS MBE. Biography 2018.
Paul Stebbings is artistic director of TNT theatre Britain, StagePlay Japan and ADG Europe. The combined organisation gives more performances in more countries in each season than any other touring theatre in the world. Paul received a first class honours degree from Britain's leading and original university drama department in Bristol. Paul founded TNT in 1980, after training with the noted Polish director Jerzy Grotowski. In addition to directing TNT's wide repertoire, Paul is also a long term director at China's most prestigious theatre: the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, where three of his productions are in permanent repertoire in Mandarin. He is also an associate director at the Teatro Espressivo de Costa Rica, where his many productions remain in their Spanish repertoire. (including regular work at the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica). Paul has also directed in Russian at the Akimov state comedy theatre in St Petersburg, in Greek at the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), in German at Tams theatre and the main Glyptothek museum in Munich, and adapted plays in French and Spanish. Paul is the leading foreign director of theatre in China, both touring theatre in English and directing in Mandarin.
Paul is a playwright as well as a director. His directing work covers a wide range of productions, while for the last two decades he has established a worldwide reputation for directing and adapting Shakespeare's major plays. These productions have continually evolved, resulting in many of these productions becoming the most performed and widely viewed versions worldwide. A typical year sees almost one thousand performances of his productions on three continents. In 2017 his productions were performed in five different languages.
Paul is dedicated to combining art and education, bringing his productions to a huge variety of audiences in widely differing venues. His style aims to combine the popular with the experimental, to appeal to teenagers and adults, to appeal to those who have never seen live theatre before as well as sophisticated urban audiences. For example his production of Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR was recently performed in a national theatre on the main stage for an evening audience, the next morning in a school sports hall without special lights, and the next day to a community audience in a small town in the rain forest. That is the essence of the work.
Paul Stebbings has received numerous awards for his artistic work, such as:
Five star award and pick of the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival, The Drama Prize Dawn Arts Festival Iran, Singapore Youth Arts Achievement award, International Theatre Institute (ITI) Music theatre award, Shandong/Shanghai Festival best director award, Munich Biennale “stern award”. In 2014 Paul was awarded an MBE medal by Queen Elizabeth for his contribution to British culture, the medal being presented by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
Notable Productions directed by Paul Stebbings:
Shakespeare (in original English): HAMLET, ROMEO AND JULIET, KING LEAR, TAMING OF THE SHREW, MACBETH, THE TEMPEST, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, TWELFTH NIGHT, OTHELLO, JULIUS CAESAR
In Mandarin: TAMING OF THE SHREW, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, TWELFTH NIGHT (in preparation)
In Spanish: ROMEO AND JULIET
In German: JULIUS CAESAR
Also: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Williams), DEATH OF A SALESMAN, THE CRUCIBLE (Miller), THE DANCE OF DEATH (Strindberg), PYGMALION (Shaw), ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (Kesey).
Directing and writing (adaptation of novels or prose):
MOON PALACE (Auster), OLIVER TWIST (In Mandarin and English versions) and A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Dickens), GOOD ADVICE IS RARER THAN RUBIES (Rushdie), BRAVE NEW WORLD (Huxley), GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (Swift), FRANKENSTEIN THE MONSTER & MYTH, INVISIBLE CITIES (Calvino/in Greek). NOTRE DAME (Hugo/in French).
Original scripts, written and directed include:
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, MY SISTER SYRIA (in Arabic and English), DRACULA AND THE ECO WARRIOR, THE CHARLIE CHAPLIN PUTSCH (in Russian and German versions), FUNNY MONEY, HITLER KILLED MY CANARY, STALIN & MEYERHOLD (Harlequin), THE MURDER OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (in English and Mandarin versions).
Live Music theatre/new opera (collaborations with composer John Kenny unless stated):
THE WIZARD OF JAZZ, CABARET FAUST, THE MYSTERY OF EDGAR ALLEN POE, MOBY DICK, MARCOPLIS (Various Greek composers), THE MUSICAL SEMINAR (Costinescou).
I never knew Shakespeare could be so entertaining. CNN TV
TNT are known as the most popular touring theatre in the world. China National TV
Highly effective and charismatic theatre. Village Voice New York
If young people need to be persuaded to go to the theatre this is the company to see. Sudkurier Germany.
Experimental but with popular appeal. The Stage London.
TNT are one of the most interesting developments on the current theatrical scene. The Guardian
World class theatre The Observer
TNT offer all the qualities of British theatre in a single performance. Suddeutsche Zeitung.
True Music theatre. Classical Music Magazine London.
From the first moment of this Shakespearian production the audience were held in a vice like grip. Japan Times (Tokyo).
The director of ITCL, Paul Stebbings was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honors for services to promoting British theatre and furthering British cultural interests in Asia.