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Crew Biographies

Pippa Harris – Executive Producer

Pippa Harris established Neal Street Productions in 2003, alongside Sam Mendes and Caro Newling, and runs the company’s Film and TV division.

Since the formation of Neal Street Productions, Pippa has produced Starter for Ten (2006) starring James MacAvoy and Rebecca Hall, Stuart A Life Backwards (2007) for the BBC/HBO and also co-produced Jarhead (2006), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx for Universal pictures. In 2007, Pippa executive produced Things We Lost in the Fire starring Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro and in 2008 co-executive produced Sam Mendes’ Oscar-nominated Revolutionary Road. Pippa was the Executive Producer on Away We Go (2009).

Previously, Pippa was the Head of Drama Commissioning for the BBC where her commissions included the Emmy award winning The Lost Prince, Cutting It and the Prix Europe Best Drama Flesh and Blood.

Pippa joined the BBC in 1997 as a Development Executive for BBC films before becoming the Executive Producer of BBC Drama Serials. Other production credits include the BAFTA winning dramas The Way We Live Now, Care and Warriors. Prior to joining the BBC, Pippa worked in the drama divisions of Carlton TV and Channel 4 as a development executive.

Alongside The Hollow Crown, Pippa is Executive Producer on Call the Midwife – the most successful new BBC drama series in over ten years.

Pippa sits on the board of BAFTA and is the deputy chair of the film committee.

Sam Mendes – Executive Producer

Before becoming one of Britain’s most celebrated film directors with his Academy Award as Best Director for American Beauty, Sam Mendes had already conquered the theatre world and he continues to balance work in both areas. He began his career as Assistant Director at the Studio Theatre in Chichester in 1987 and quickly made a name for himself, directing acclaimed takes on Shakespearean classics and celebrated new plays for the RSC and the National Theatre. In 1992, he founded the Donmar Warehouse, which has become one of the most respected playhouses in the world. Among his many lauded productions are Glengarry Glen Ross, Cabaret, The Blue Room, The Front Page , Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night. Several of the productions transferred to Broadway where he had a huge success with Cabaret (which won four Tony Awards including Best Musical), Gypsy, The Blue Room and the world premiere of David Hare’s The Vertical Hour.

More recently he was involved in a joint venture between The Old Vic and BAM in New York, The Bridge Project, for which he directed several acclaimed productions including The Tempest, The Cherry Orchard, A Winter’s Tale and Richard III starring Kevin Spacey.

After 10 years at the Donmar, Mendes left to start Neal Street Productions with colleagues Pippa Harris and Caro Newling . The company has been successful in film, theatre and television with productions as diverse as the BBC’s hugely successful drama Call The Midwife, Shrek The Musical at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the hit movie Starter For Ten.

American Beauty in 1999 was his first film, starring Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.  A fixture on almost every list of that year’s best movies, it won five Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Picture, and six BAFTAs. Since then, he has directed four further films – ROAD TO PERDITION, JARHEAD, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD and AWAY WE GO – all of which met with critical acclaim and garnered ten Academy Award nominations between them. His enormous contribution to cinema and theatre saw him awarded a CBE in 2000 and A Director’s Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

In 2011/12 he has been directing the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, which will be released in October 2012.

Gareth Neame – Executive Producer

Gareth Neame is Managing Director of NBC Universal’s TV production in the UK, expanding on his previous role as Managing Director of Carnival Films, the independent production company Neame sold to NBC Universal in 2008. Neame’s remit now includes oversight on all UK television production initiatives in Drama, Comedy and Entertainment.  He is tasked with increasing NBC Universal’s presence in the UK, building on the significant success of Carnival.

Neame is one of the UK’s leading producers and is responsible for Downton Abbey, the global TV phenomenon, winner of The Golden Globe for Best Mini Series and 6 Primetime Emmy Awards, including Best Mini Series.  Among numerous national and international awards, the show garnered a Guinness World Record for the highest critical review ratings for a TV show. Neame has also been recognised by The Producers Guild of America with the David L. Wolper award for outstanding producer of long-form television.  Carnival has also recently produced the British Academy Award winning Best Drama serial Any Human Heart for C4, David Hare’s political thriller Page 8 starring Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz and also produces the popular crime series on ITV1 Whitechapel.  Carnival’s prestigious output has resulted in the company winning The Broadcast Award in 2012 and The Bulldog award in 2011 for Best Production Company.

Over the years, Carnival has produced many popular shows such as Hotel Babylon, Poirot, Enid, Sea of Souls, Jeeves and Wooster, As If, Rosemary and Thyme and Traffik, as well as US content such as The Philanthropist for NBC and The Grid for TNT.   Other productions Neame has been responsible for at Carnival include Whistleblowers, Midnight Man and The Old Curiosity Shop.

Prior to joining the company, Neame had a successful career as Head of Drama at the BBC and was instrumental in the significant growth in independent production, responsible for the development and production of a range of innovative, award-winning and popular shows such as Spooks (MI5), Bodies, Outlaws, Hustle, New Tricks, Tipping the Velvet and Clocking Off.

After graduating with a degree in English and Drama in 1988, Neame worked extensively in both production and development at the BBC and as an independent producer.   Neame was the Executive Producer of the multi-award winning series State of Play and other producer credits include Truth or Dare (BAFTA winner, RTS nominated), All the King’s Men, The Woman in White (BAFTA nominated), The Missing Postman (British Comedy Award winner), Station Jim, Getting Hurt, The Wyvern Mystery, Lorna Doone, Happy Birthday Shakespeare, Cambridge Spies, Take a Girl Like You, Twenty Thousand Streets under the sky (nominated for South Bank Show award), Paranoid and Peter Kosminsky’s multi award winning Warriors. Neame served on The Council of The British Academy of Film and Television Arts from 2004-06.

Rupert Ryle-Hodges – Producer

Rupert’s credits as Co Producer include Cranford and Stuart: A Life Backwards.

As Line Producer, Rupert has looked after many tv productions including Mad Dogs (Series 1) Shackleton, Births, Marriages and Deaths,& Wives & Daughters.

Rupert began his career as an Assistant Director working on many productions including Hilary & Jackie, The Camomile Lawn, Gullivers Travels and The Odyssey.

Rupert Goold – Director (Richard II) and adaptation (Richard II)

Rupert is Artistic Director of Headlong Theatre and an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Recent productions for Headlong include Decade (St. Katharine Docks), Earthquakes in London (National Theatre/UK tour), ENRON (Chichester/Royal Court/West End/Broadway – 2009 Evening Standard Award, Critics’ Circle and Olivier Awards for Best Director) and King Lear (Liverpool Everyman/Young Vic).

Rupert’s other theatre productions include Time and the Conways (National Theatre), Oliver! (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), No Man’s Land (Gate Theatre Dublin/West End – Irish Times Award for Best Director), Macbeth (Chichester/West End/Broadway—winner of Best Director, Evening Standard, Critics’ Circle and Olivier awards – and on film for BBC4), The Glass Menagerie (Apollo) and Speaking Like Magpies and The Tempest (RSC).

He has also directed several operas: Turandot for the English National Opera, Le Comte Ory, L’Opera Seria, Gli Equivoci and Il Pomo D’Oro.

Rupert was Artistic Director of the Royal and Derngate Theatres in Northampton from 2002 to 2005 and Associate Artist at Salisbury Playhouse from 1996 for a year during its reopening under Jonathan Church. Rupert was a Trainee Director under Sam Mendes at the Donmar Warehouse from 1995 to 1996.

Richard Eyre – Director (Henry IV Part I and II) and adaptation (Henry IV Part I and II)

Richard Eyre is an award winning film, theatre, opera and television director who was knighted in 1997 for ten years’ service as Director of the National Theatre.

Richard began his career as Associate Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh before moving on to become Artistic Director of the Nottingham Playhouse. Across his career, Richard’s many notable theatre credits include Hamlet at the Royal Court in 1980, Guys and Dolls for the National Theatre in 1982, Richard III with Ian McKellan, King Lear with Ian Holm to Noel Coward’s Private Lives with Kim Cattrall on Broadway in 2011.

Film credits include Iris (2001), starring Kate Winslet, Judy Dench and Jim Broadbent, Notes on a Scandal in 2006 with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett and 2008’s The Other Man.

Thea Sharrock – Director (Henry V)

In 2001, Thea Sharrock became the youngest ever Artistic Director of the Southwark Playhouse and went on to run the Gate Theatre as well as direct works for the Royal National Theatre, English Touring Theatre and the Theatre Royal, Bath.

In 2007, Thea brought Peter Shaffer’s Equus with Daniel Radcliffe to the Gielgud Theatre before it transferred to Broadway in 2008. Thea directed The Misanthrope in 2009, starring Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis, as well as a production of As You Like It at The Globe. Her critically acclaimed production of Terrence Rattigan’s After the Dance at the National Theatre in 2010 won four Olivier Awards including Best Revival.

Ben Power – Adaptation (Richard II, Henry V)

Ben Power is a writer and dramaturg. From 2006-2010, Ben was the Associate Director of Headlong. Work commissioned and developed includes Lucy Prebble’s award-winning ENRON, King Lear, and Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Other work for the theatre includes dramaturgy on Complicite’s A Disappearing Number, which won the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle awards for Best Play.

Since 2010 Ben has been an Associate Director of the National Theatre. Dramaturgy for the NT includes: Earthquakes in London, Greenland, Double Feature, 13, Antigone, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Timon of Athens and This House.