MIKE OCKRENT (1946-1999) was born in London and received a B.Sc. in Physics from Edinburgh University. In 1969 he won an Independent Television Award and was appointed Assistant Director at Perth Repertory Theatre in Scotland. During the three years he was there he directed over 20 plays. In 1973 he was appointed Artistic Director of the internationally renowned Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh where he stayed for three years. Many of the plays he produced and directed then transferred to London.
In 1976 Mike went freelance in London and productions included Union Jack and Bonzo by Stanley Eveling at Hampstead Theatre, C.P. Taylor s adaptation of Carl Sterheim s Schippel (retitled The Plumber s Progress ) with Harry Secombe at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Once A Catholic (nominated Best Comedy by the Society of West End Theatres) at the Royal Court and Wyndhams Theatre, Brecht s A Respectable Wedding at the Open Space Theatre, And A Nightingale Sang at the Queen s Theatre, Educating Rita by Willy Russell at the RSC and the Piccadilly Theatre (winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Play), Passion Play by Peter Nichols for the RSC (subsequently at Wyndhams and winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy), Stephen Sondheim s Follies at the Shaftesbury (winner of the Laurence Olivier, Evening Standard, Plays & Players and Drama Magazine Awards for Best Musical) and Just So at the Tricycle Theatre for Cameron Mackintosh. National Theatre Productions include Watch on the Rhine with Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Inner Voices with Sir Ralph Richardson, Laurence Olivier s 80th Birthday Celebration and Zenobia for RSC at The Young Vic.
Mike s Broadway productions include Once A Catholic, Rowan Atkinson s review Atkinson at the Atkinson , Big, which received 10 Drama Desk nominations and 5 Tony nominations, and the World Premiere of the concert version of the musical King David , written by Alan Menken and Tim Rice, the inaugural event at Disney s renovated New Amsterdam Theatre. Mike directed and co-conceived several productions of the celebrated Me and My Girl at the Adelphi where it won the Olivier, Ivor Novello and Drama Magazine Awards for Best Musical, and on Broadway where it was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and for which he also won the Drama Desk Award for Best Director. He also directed and co-conceived Crazy For You : the Broadway production, which won three Tony Awards (including Best Musical 1992); the London production, which won several Olivier Awards (including Best Musical 1993), the U.S. tour production, in addition to the Japanese, Canadian and Australian productions.
His films include: Dancin Thru the Dark (BBC Formost Films and British Screen), Popular Choice of 1990 Venice Film Festival, Money for Nothing (BBC), Writer s Guild Award for 1994. He also wrote a theatrical novel, Running Down Broadway, Random Century.