Laurie Sansom

Laurie Sansom
Kent, UK
OccupationTheatre director

Laurie Sansom is a British theatre director.

Early life and education

Sansom grew up in East Peckham, near Tonbridge, Kent. He attended the local East Peckham Country Primary School and later Mascalls Comprehensive School in Paddock Wood. Sansom's early theatre 'training', whilst at primary school included an amateur dramatics society in nearby Hadlow where he appeared in a number of productions including pantomime. He later trained with the National Youth Theatre and is an alumnus of the National Student Drama Festival. He graduated from Cambridge University.[1]


Sansom was the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland between 2013-2016.[2]

Sansom was previously Artistic Director of the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton(2006 - 2013), Associate Director to Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough (2002–06) and an Arts Council England Trainee Director at the Palace Theatre, Watford (1996-7).[1]

National Theatre of Scotland

Sansom's appointment as Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland was announced in October 2012[3] and he took up the post in March 2013.[3]

His productions as a director at the National Theatre of Scotland include The James Plays, a co-production with Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre of Great Britain. The historical trilogy by Rona Munro won a Herald Angel Award and the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play 2014.[4][5]

Sansom also directed and wrote the first stage adaptation of Muriel Spark's novella, The Driver's Seat.[6]

Royal and Derngate

Sansom was appointed to be the new Artistic Director of the Royal & Derngate when it reopened in 2006 after a £14 million redevelopment. He took up the role in March 2006 and the venue reopened later that year.[7] Achievements during Sansom's tenure included the company winning the inaugural The Stage award for regional theatre of the year in 2010.[3] Michael Billington of The Guardian newspaper named the Royal & Derngate the most exciting regional theatre of the decade.[8] In 2009, an adaptation of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie directed by Sansom was successfully presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[9] Sansom's productions of the rarely performed early plays Spring Storm by Tennessee Williams, and Beyond the Horizon by Eugene O'Neill, won him the 2010 TMA Award for Best Director and transferred to the UK's National Theatre.[10] Sansom's Festival of Chaos trilogy - consisting of new versions of The Bacchae, Blood Wedding and Hedda Gabler - featured as part of the London 2012 Festival.[11]


  1. McMillan, Joyce (3 January 2015). "NTS director Laurie Sansom plots 2015 strategy". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing Ltd. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  2. Pauline McLean (28 June 2013). "National Theatre of Scotland's Laurie Sansom sees 'remarkable' 2014". BBC News. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  3. Thom Dibdin (24 October 2012). "Laurie Sansom appointed to lead National Theatre of Scotland". The Stage. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  4. Bruce, Keith (16 August 2014). "James Plays make worthy successors". Herald Scotland. Herald & Times Group. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  5. "Star quality: the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards judges tell us about the winners". Evening Standard. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  6. Brown, Mark (19 June 2015). "The Driver's Seat, National Theatre of Scotland, review: 'unnerving'". the Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 7 December 2015. Which is not to say that the director, who has also adapted Spark's book for the stage, is tempted into creating a play which is, Kafka-style, reflected from within Lise's mind. We are, as Spark intended, and as the regular film projections remind us, outside, looking in.
  7. "Sansom Takes Over Northampton Royal & Derngate". 13 January 2006. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  8. Michael Billington (8 December 2009). "Review of the decade: Michael Billington on theatre". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  9. Cavendish, Dominic (24 August 2009). "Edinburgh Festival 2009: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  10. Andrew Girvan (7 November 2010). "Steed, Sansom & Plowright Win 2010 TMA Awards". Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  11. Girvan, Andrew (13 December 2011). "Northampton Stages 'Festival of Chaos' for 2012, Season Announced". What's On Stage. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
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