Directing Lisa McCune (above) and Teddy Tahu Rhodes (below) for the revival of SOUTH PACIFIC at the Sydney Opera House, with musical director Vanessa Scammell.
Neil with the Original Cast of
Neil always found the skill of directing fascinating, first directing projects at school and college, and then observing the great directors he had the privilege of working with over the years such as Michael Blakemore, Richard Eyre, Michael Grandage, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Neil LaBute and Bartlett Sher.
Along side his work as an actor, Neil directed productions of TELL ME ON A SUNDAY, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, NOT QUITE BEDTIME (which he co-wrote and won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival), THE UGLY DUCKLING, Sara Kestleman’s one woman show ALL ABOUT ME at the National Theatre and The Kings Head. He was also director for 2 seasons of the MERCURY WORKSHOP set up by Cameron Mackintosh and Stephen Sondheim, where I worked with over 50 composers, authors and lyricists working on 30 new musicals. He was also asked to be resident director on LES MISERABLES and ASPECTS OF LOVE in London.
Following a break in directing due to his work load at the Ambassador Theatre Group, Neil was delighted to join the Directing Team at Opera Australia where he was Director, Associate Director, and Casting Director on their musicals and operettas between 2012 and 2015, including the Lincoln Centre Production of SOUTH PACIFIC directed by Bartlett Sher, THE KING AND I directed by Chris Renshaw, ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD directed by Jonathan Biggins. In addition, he was artistically responsible for the productions as they toured Australia and played the Sydney Opera House. Whilst in Australia, Neil also directed the OPEN AIR OPERA GALA at the 20,000 seater Melbourne Bowl as well as the world premieres of PASSIONE for Opera Australia and BEYOND DESIRE for Neil Rutherford Productions. He also directed 2 segments for the HELPMANN AWARDS for FOXTEL.
Neil has also enjoyed directing for UK drama schools, including A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM and STEEL PRISON (a Kander and Ebb compilation) for Arts Ed, and the final years SHOWCASES for several Drama Schools.
Neil’s 2016 hippy production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM for Stockholm’s Parc Teater broke Box Office records and its revival in 2017 saw audiences of 5,000 each performance.
Neil and his Midsummer Night's Dream Revival Cast