It is with great sadness we learn that the Welsh-born theatre director Michael Bogdanov has died at the age of 78.
Best known for his uncompromising interpretations of Shakespeare, Michael’s international career also spanned opera and musical theatre. He was Associate Director of the Royal National Theatre for eight years, directed eight productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and co-founded the English Shakespeare Company before returning to Wales determined to reinvigorate the Welsh theatre scene.
He became a major supporter of the College – directing productions, giving masterclasses and consistently providing employment for our graduates over the last 25 years. Last month, Michael attended the College’s Actors Showcase, and the plays which featured in a season of new writing.
RWCMD’s Director of Drama, Sean Crowley, was a close friend who had collaborated with Michael as a Designer on numerous professional productions. He pays personal tribute:
“After returning to Wales, Michael’s desire to create new work here was relentless. He founded The Wales Theatre Company, which brought his own unique brand to theatres across Wales. The company’s work culminated in 2014 with the extraordinary Dylathon at the Grand Theatre Swansea – a three day continuous performance of the complete works of Dylan Thomas. Michael built a production team of stage-management graduates and design students from the College, who worked alongside him during the three days and two nights of this epic performance. It was his last work in Wales.”
“With professionals and students alike, Michael offered his wealth of experience with humour, challenging our students with a rigour and honesty that provoked our young designers to respond with brave and innovative solutions.”
“We shared a love of theatre, Wales, and above all rugby. I last saw Michael two weeks ago after watching the Ospreys at the Principality Stadium. He will be missed by all who knew him”