April 26, 2023

The Man behind the Award-winning Plays and Films: The Amazing Journey of Michael Blakemore

Often times, it’s the people behind the scenes who make magic happen. In the world of theatre and cinema, Michael Blakemore is one such person. His immense contribution to the art has earned him an iconic status in the industry. If you are someone who loves to explore the backstage aspects of plays and movies, this journey will offer you a fascinating glimpse into the life and work of Michael Blakemore.

Early Life

Michael Blakemore was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1928. His parents were British, and his father was a doctor. Michael’s interest in theatre began when he was a child, and his mother took him to see Shakespeare plays.

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During his teenage years, Michael worked as an usher in theatres, where he developed an understanding of the backstage workings of productions. By the time he was eighteen, he had already directed his first production – a school production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘H.M.S. Pinafore.’

Education and Training

After completing his high school education, Michael attended the University of Sydney, where he studied English literature. Later, he moved to London, where he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

His training at the RADA honed his directing skills and helped him develop a better understanding of theatre production. Post to his training, he worked with various theatre companies in London and even directed a few plays.

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The London Stage

In the 1950s and 1960s, Michael directed several plays in London’s West End. Among his notable productions were ‘A Day in the Death of Joe Egg’ by Peter Nichols, ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’ by Tom Stoppard, and ‘The Boys in the Band’ by Mart Crowley.

He won several awards, including the Evening Standard Award for Best Director, for his productions. His work was often lauded for its innovative staging and exploration of complex themes.

Broadway Success

In the late 1970s, Michael began working on Broadway, where he achieved significant success. He directed the musical ‘Barnum’ and the plays ‘Noises Off’ and ‘City of Angels.’

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‘City of Angels’ won multiple Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Direction. Michael also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director.

The Film World

Michael’s career expanded to the film industry, where he directed several notable movies. He made his directorial debut with the movie ‘A Personal History of the Australian Surf,’ for which he won the Best Documentary award at the Australian Film Institute Awards.

He went on to direct several movies, including ‘Country Life,’ ‘The Weight of Water,’ ‘The Queen,’ and ‘Stage Beauty.’ His films received critical acclaim and won several awards, including an Academy Award for ‘The Queen.’

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Awards and Honors

Michael Blakemore has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career. In addition to his Tony and Drama Desk Awards, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia in 2000 for his services to theatre and film.

In 2012, his autobiography ‘Arguments with England’ was published, which received critical praise. His contributions and service to the arts industry have left an indelible mark, inspiring many to follow in his footsteps.


Q1. What is Michael Blakemore’s most notable production?

A1. Michael’s most famous production is ‘City of Angels,’ which won multiple Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Direction.

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Q2. What awards has Michael Blakemore won?

A2. Michael has won numerous awards, including Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and an Academy Award.

Q3. What is Michael Blakemore’s contribution to the film industry?

A3. Michael has directed several notable films, including ‘The Queen,’ for which he won an Academy Award.

Q4. When did Michael Blakemore make his directorial debut?

A4. Michael made his directorial debut with the movie ‘A Personal History of the Australian Surf.’

Q5. What is the name of Michael Blakemore’s autobiography?

A5. Michael’s autobiography is called ‘Arguments with England.’

Q6. Which Australian award was Michael Blakemore appointed for his services to theatre and film?

A6. Michael was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia.

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Q7. What is the name of the play that won Michael Blakemore the Best Director award at the Evening Standard Awards?

A7. Michael won the Best Director award for his production of ‘A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.’

The Bottom Line

Michael Blakemore’s extraordinary journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring theatre and film professionals. His exploration of complex themes and innovative staging has set a benchmark in the industry. His passion for the arts has earned him several accolades and the respect of his peers. We can all learn from his never-ending quest for excellence.


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