Robert Icke is an English playwright and director. He is currently the Associate Director of the Almeida Theatre in London. He has been hailed as the "great hope of British theatre."
Icke was born in Stockton-on-Tees. As a teenager, he saw a production of Richard III starring Kenneth Branagh; the experience inspired him to take up writing and directing. He studied English at Cambridge University under Anne Barton.
Icke started his first theatre company, Arden Theatre, in 2002. He directed a series of shows at Arc Theatre between 2003-2008. In his early career, he was mentored by Michael Grandage and worked as Associate Director to Thea Shamrock, Michael Attenborough, and Trevor Nun. In 2010, Icke was named Associate Director at Rupert Goold's company Headlong.
In 2013, Icke left Headlong to become Associate Director at the Almeida Theatre. His first play, 1984, premiered at the Almeida in 2014 and transferred to the West End later that year, before transferring to Broadway in 2017. For 1984, he was awarded the UK Theatre Award for Best Director, the Liverpool Arts Award for Best Director, and 1984 was nominated for Best New Play at the 2014 Olivier Awards.
Icke directed the European premiere of Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn in 2014. In early 2015, his production of The Fever was performed in a hotel room in Mayfair.
His production of the Oresteia in 2015 brought Icke much attention and critical acclaim, receiving rave reviews. Oresteia transferred to the West End, winning Icke the Olivier Award, the Critics Circle Theatre Award, and the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director.
In 2016, Icke directed his own adaptations of Uncle Vanya and Mary Stuart. The latter transferred to the West End in 2018 and received rave reviews. Also in 2016, Icke made his debut at the National Theatre with The Red Barn.
Icke's production of Hamlet premiered at the Almeida in early 2017. It was a critical success and transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre, where it was filmed by BBC2 and broadcast on Easter Sunday 2018.