Cooke, Dominic

Dominic Cooke is a British theatre, film, and TV director and writer. He was born in South London in 1966. After graduating from Warwick University, Cooke soon founded the theatre company Pan Optic, which he managed for two years. He then became assistant director at the Royal Shakespeare Company before moving to the Royal Court Theatre. In 2007, he directed his version of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible for the RSC, which won him two Olivier Awards for Best Director and Best Revival. At the Royal Court, he was artistic director and chief executive from 2006 to 2013 and promoted the Royal Court’s Young Writers’ Programme. He produced numerous plays, including Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem (2009), Lucy Prebble’s Enron (2009), and Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park (2010), all of which were transferred to the West End. In 2009, he directed Caryl Churchill’s 10-minute play Seven Jewish Children: A Play For Gaza, which was perceived as antisemitic by many critics such as John Nathan and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Cooke is currently an associate of the National Theatre, for which he directed The Comedy of Errors (2011), Caryl Churchill’s Here We Go (2015), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2015; Olivier Award for Best Revival), and Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman’s Follies (2017; Critics’ Circle Best Director Award; Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival). Dominic Cooke directed his first television series The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses in 2016, which was produced by Sam Mendes‘ company and starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench. With an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach (2018), Cooke directed his first feature film. Most recently, Cooke directed The Courier (2020) starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

He won the International Theatre Institute Award for Excellence in International Theatre in 2013 and received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Warwick University. In 2014, Dominic Cooke was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).