About Matthew Bourne


Matthew Bourne OBE is widely hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer and director. In 2012 he celebrated 25 years of creating and directing dance for musicals, opera, theatre, film as well as his own highly successful, award winning companies.

Matthew is the creator of the world’s longest running ballet production, a five-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical. He has been recognised by over 30 international awards, including following Dame Margot Fonteyn as only the second dance recipient of the Hamburg Shakespeare Prize for the Arts and being the first recipient, in the arts category, of The British Inspiration Award. He received a Special Theatre Managers Association Award for services to dance touring and audience development. He was awarded the OBE for Services to Dance in 2001.


Time Magazine

Matthew started his dance training at the comparatively late age of 22. He studied Dance Theatre and Choreography at The Laban Centre graduating in 1985 and spending a further year with the college’s performance company Transitions. Matthew danced professionally for 14 years creating many roles in his own work. As Artistic Director of his first company, Adventures in Motion Pictures from 1987 until 2002 Matthew created many awardwinning works for the Company. The most iconic productions have been revived for New Adventures which was launched by Matthew and his Co-Director Robert Noble in 2002. New Adventures is now the most successful and busiest dance company in the UK and a major exporter of British dance across the world.

"The most popular choreographer of theatrical dance in the Western World"

The New Yorker

Matthew’s choreography for classic musicals includes Cameron Mackintosh’s productions of Oliver! (1994 and 2009 Olivier nomination) and My Fair Lady (2002 - Olivier Award), and the National Theatre’s revival of South Pacific (2002). In 2004 Matthew co-directed with Richard Eyre and choreographed with Stephen Mear the hit West End musical Mary Poppins for which he won an Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer, and two Tony nominations when it opened on Broadway.

His film work includes television productions of his stage work including Matthew Bourne’s Christmas (Channel 4, 2012), Swan Lake (1996 Emmy nomination and 2011 in 3D), The Car Man (2001), Nutcracker! (2003) and Sleeping Beauty broadcast by the BBC for Christmas 2013 prior to worldwide cinema screenings. Original work includes the John Betjeman inspired Late Flowering Lust (1993) with Sir Nigel Hawthorne. Matthew was the subject of a South Bank Show in 1997, a BBC Imagine… documentary in 2012 and a Channel 4 documentary Bourne to Dance which was broadcast on Christmas Day 2001. In 1999 he presented Channel 4’s Dance 4 Series. His production of Swan Lake features in Stephen Daldry’s hit film Billy Elliot.

Other theatre and dance work includes As You Like It (RSC/John Caird), Children of Eden (West End/John Caird), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Aix en Provence/Robert Carsen), The Tempest (NYT), Show Boat (Malmo Stadsteater, Sweden), Peer Gynt (Barbican/Yukio Ninagawa), Watch With Mother (NYDC), Boutique and The Infernal Galop (Images of Dance and The Sarasota Ballet), Watch Your Step (Irving Berlin Gala), French and Saunders Live in 2000 (UK tour), Dearest Love (Ballet
Boyz), and Highland Fling (Scottish Ballet).

In addition to being a prolific choreographer, Matthew supports the wider dance industry and its future. He is proud to be an Associate Artist and Resident Company at Sadler’s Wells, to build audiences for dance across the UK and to provide extensive employment and career development opportunities for dancers, musicians and other theatre professionals. In 2008 he established Re:Bourne to increase opportunities to inspire young people with a passion for dance, and in 2010 he created the New Adventures Choreographer Award to
enhance opportunities and showcase the talents of emerging choreographers. In 1997 Matthew was made an Honorary Fellow of his former college, The Laban Centre, becoming a Companion of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2012. He has five Honorary Doctorates from The Open University, and the De Montford, Plymouth, Kingston and Roehampton Universities. He is a Companion of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and a proud patron of many organisations including The Arts Educational School, Laine Theatre Arts, CREATE, London Dance Theatre, and Shoreditch Youth Dance.

In 1999 Faber and Faber published Matthew Bourne and his Adventures in Motion Pictures, edited by theatre and dance writer, Alastair Macaulay, and a new edition was published in recognition of Bourne’s 25th Anniversary Celebrations in 2012.

"Matthew Bourne has inspired a generation to dance"

The Sunday Times