A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2
by Lucas Hnath
Ken Alexander is an established Scottish theatre director. He was the recipient of a Scottish Arts Council Trainee Directors Bursary at Perth Theatre and trained under the guidance of Artistic Director Joan Knight, OBE. He followed this with a spell as Associate Director to Patrick Sandford at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton. He was appointed Artistic Director at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews at the age of 29 and guided the theatre through a major programme of artistic and building development, which saw the Byre Theatre re?housed in a brand?new state?of?the?art theatre. He went on to serve as Artistic Director at Perth Theatre, taking the theatre through one of its most prosperous periods in recent years, with record box office results and widely recognised artistic success. He went on to have a similar success as Artistic Director at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool.
As a freelance director Ken has embraced a huge range of work. He has enjoyed creating work in intimate studio theatres and ‘found’ spaces to medium and large?scale venues throughout the UK, as well as Ireland and the USA. Ken enjoyed a very fruitful association with Pitlochry Festival Theatre in the Scottish Highlands, directing thirteen productions over a number of years, notably The Grapes of Wrath adapted by Frank Galati from the novel by John Steinbeck, Bus Stop by William Inge, Good Things by Liz Lochhead, Outlying Islands by David Greig, Passing Places by Stephen Greenhorn, Dr Angelus by James Bridie Noises Off by Michael Frayn, Stepping Out by Richard Harris, and the premiere of Whisky Galore – a Musical adapted from the novel by Compton Mackenzie by Shona McKee McNeil and Ian Hammond Brown, for which he was nominated as ‘Best Director’ by the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland.
Elsewhere Ken’s notable productions include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the Scottish professional premieres of A Passionate Woman by Kay Mellor, Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine and Master Class by Terrence McNally (Byre Theatre), Oliver! by Lionel Bart (Nominated for CATS ‘Best Ensemble’), Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off by Liz Lochhead, The Deep Blue Sea by Terence Rattigan, The Slab Boys by John Byrne, the Scottish professional premiere of Little Shop of Horrors by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the premiere of A Sense of Justice by Vivien Adam and Sabina! by Chris Dolan (Perth Theatre), Ladies Day by Amanda Whittington, Lucky Numbers by Mike Yeaman, and the premiere of Laurel and Hardy’s Sons of the Desert, which Ken also adapted for the stage (Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool).
On tour Ken has directed Bondagers by Sue Glover, Tally’s Blood by Ann Marie Di Mambro, The Odd Couple by Neil Simon A Happy Medium by Dorothy Paul and John Bett, the sketch shows Hormonal Housewives by Julie Coombe and John MacIsaac, Sex in Suburbia by Claire Sweeney and Mandy Muden and the premiere of Anne Downie’s play Parking Lot in Pittsburgh.
Ken has had a very happy collaboration in developing new work with ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’ for venues that have included Oran Mor in Glasgow, the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh and Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree. Amongst the most successful have been Ae Fond Kiss and Rachael’s Cousins by Ann Marie Di Mambro, Death Story and Paring Off by Alma Cullen, the mini musicals Wee Free and Melania by Hilary Brooks and Clive King, and the box office smash Aye, Elvis by Morna Young – recently restaged for the Traverse Theatre and Gilded Balloon at ‘MultiStory’ for the 2021 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Ken also enjoys directing Pantomime, recently Jack and the Beanstalk and the digital series The Scunner That Stole Christmas, co-written with Fraser Boyle for the Gaiety Theatre, Ayr. He also directs regularly for QDOS Pantomimes (now Xroads Pantomimes) at venues that have included Richmond Theatre, Nottingham Theatre Royal, Plymouth Theatre Royal, the Derngate & Royal in Northampton and the New Theatre in Cardiff with a host of top British entertainers.
His most recent work includes the award winning premiere of Peter Arnott’s The Signalman (‘Best New Play’, ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Production’ – Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2021) for A Play, A Pie and A Pint with the Traverse Theatre and on tour, Jamie and the Unicorn co?written with Fraser Boyle for Ayr Gaiety and Jack and the Beanstalk at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford. Ken is really delighted to be back in Vienna to direct A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath, having previously directed Dial ‘M’ for Murder by Frederick Knott, the European premiere of Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley and Corpse! by Gerald Moon for Vienna’s English Theatre.