Portrait of Neil Armfield

Neil Armfield

Neil Armfield is a leading Australian director of theatre, opera and film. He was co-founder of Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre and its Artistic Director for 17 years, during which time he directed over 50 productions.

Neil’s notable productions include Cloudstreet (toured to London twice, Dublin, Zurich, New York), Hamlet (toured Australia starring Richard Roxburgh), Diary of a Madman (with Geoffrey Rush, toured to Moscow, St Petersburg, New York), Exit the King (Sydney and Broadway, winning Geoffrey Rush a Tony), The Book of Everything (toured to New York), The Judas Kiss (toured Australia starring Bille Brown in 1999 and in 2012 with Rupert Everett) and The Secret River, adapted for theatre by Andrew Bovell.

Neil has directed for English National Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Chicago Lyric Opera, Zurich Opera, Bregenz Festival, and regularly with Opera Australia, Canadian Opera, Welsh National Opera, and Houston Grand Opera. This year, he will direct Wagner’s Der Ring Des Nibelungen in Melbourne and Tristan Und Isolde in Washington.

Neil directed the television miniseries Edens Lost for ABC TV in 1988, which won 4 AFI awards including Best Director and Best Mini Series; 2 telemovies for the ABC in 1996 – The Fisherman’s Wake (which won an ATOM Award for Best Original TV Production), and Coral Island.

In 2005 he directed and co-wrote the feature film Candy, starring Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish, which screened in competition at the Berlinale and played twenty other international festivals. He won Best Adapted Screenplay at the AFI Awards and an AWGIE for Best Screenplay.

Neil has won 2 AFI Awards, 8 Helpmann Awards, and many Sydney Theatre, Victorian Green Room and Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Awards. He has Honorary Doctorates from Sydney and NSW Universities, and in 2007 was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia.