Learn more about Jamie Lloyd before seeing 'Romeo & Juliet' or 'Sunset Boulevard'

Lloyd is a global force, with a Tom Holland-starring Shakespeare production in the West End and his award-winning musical revival transferring to Broadway.

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

This really is the year of Jamie Lloyd. The prolific and boundlessly inventive director just enjoyed a sweep at the Olivier Awards for his astounding revival of Sunset Boulevard, and the production is now heading to Broadway. Another of his shows is the hottest ticket in the West End: Romeo & Juliet, led by Spider-Man actor Tom Holland.

That follows an incredible run of shows, including a revival of The Effect at the National Theatre, which has also transferred to New York, plus productions featuring big names such as Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, James McAvoy, and more.

But it’s not just the casts that impress in Lloyd’s shows – it’s his psychologically astute readings of the work, reflected in savvy creative choices that reinvent familiar classics for a new generation of theatregoers, including skilful incorporation of cameras, screens, and microphones.

Learn more about the brilliant British director and his landmark productions before heading to one of his shows.

Jamie Lloyd in theatre

Lloyd was born in Poole, in Dorset, in 1980, and he studied at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. After assisting some heavyweight directors like Trevor Nunn and Michael Grandage, he made his own theatre directing debut with Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker at Sheffield Crucible in 2006.

That began a long run of Pinter productions by Lloyd, including a dedicated six-month season of the playwright’s short works at the Harold Pinter Theatre in 2018 – “Pinter at the Pinter” – ending with a searing revival of Betrayal starring Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton, and Charlie Cox.

Lloyd directed several shows at the Donmar Warehouse, where he was the associate director from 2008-11, before forming The Jamie Lloyd Company and programming exciting work at the Trafalgar Studios (now the Trafalgar Theatre) – he became the venue’s artistic director in 2013.

Andrew Lloyd Webber has seen his shows transformed into slick, monochrome, stripped-back, and thrillingly contemporary productions – including Evita at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 2019, and, in 2023, Sunset Boulevard in the West End, starring Nicole Scherzinger. That latter sensation is now heading to Broadway.

Here’s a look at some of Lloyd’s greatest hits.

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The Pride, Royal Court, 2008

Lloyd won his first Olivier Award for directing the premiere of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s play about two queer love stories: one set in the 1950s, one in the present. Bertie Carvel, JJ Feild, and Lyndsey Marshal starred, and the play transferred to New York in 2010, with Hugh Dancy, Ben Whishaw, and Andrea Riseborough.

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The Homecoming, Trafalgar Studios, 2015

Lloyd and Pinter, together again, in this chilling revival of the master’s play about warped family and sexual dynamics. Showing his flair for assembling intriguing casts, Lloyd directed John Simm, Gemma Chan, Keith Allen, Ron Cook, and Gary Kemp.

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The Maids, Trafalgar Studios, 2016

Lloyd recruited another fascinating company – Uzo Aduba (hot off Orange Is the New Black), Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat), and Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey) – for this revival of Jean Genet’s beguiling study of power, desire, and violent fantasies.

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Doctor Faustus, Duke of York’s Theatre, 2016

Kit Harington, who had become an international star thanks to playing Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, was enticed back to theatre by Lloyd for this contemporary staging of Christopher Marlowe’s great tragedy. Musical theatre legend Jenna Russell also starred.

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Betrayal, Harold Pinter Theatre, 2019

The great culmination of Lloyd’s Pinter season was this razor-sharp dissection of marriage and friendship, truth and lies. Charlie Cox, Tom Hiddleston, and Zawe Ashton starred – and the latter pair are now a couple in real life! The production transferred to the Bernard B Jacobs Theatre on Broadway, where Lloyd was nominated for a Tony.

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Evita, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, 2019

This was Andrew Lloyd Webber as you’d never seen it before. Lloyd’s bold, streetwise revival, which featured modern costuming, rock-fuelled numbers, concrete bleachers (for literal social climbing), and a youthful diva dictator in Samantha Pauly, was rightly Olivier nominated.

Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac, Playhouse Theatre, 2019

There was no nose in Lloyd’s fresh interpretation of Rostand’s play, nor any sword-fighting – Cyrano’s weapon was words, and his mode was rap battle. Led by a never-better James McAvoy, this electrifying production was all about the power of language: to woo, to wound, and to transport. It won the Olivier for Best Revival, and duly transferred to New York.

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The Seagull, Playhouse Theatre, 2020

Using Anya Reiss’s modern adaptation of Chekhov, Lloyd again stripped back a classic: the cast mainly sat in chairs with microphones, in contemporary clothes, interrogating the very idea of performance. Two Game of Thrones favourites, Emilia Clarke and Indira Varma, starred in this hypnotic piece.

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A Doll’s House, Hudson Theatre, 2023

Lloyd was back on Broadway to direct Hollywood actress Jessica Chastain and Succession’s Arian Moayed in his minimalist, modern-dress version of Ibsen’s play – which, strikingly, saw the Tony-nominated Chastain sat alone on the rotating set as the audience filed in.

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Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre, 2023

Another Lloyd Webber show brought bang up to date in this revelatory revival. It starred former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger as Norma Desmond and featured the best possible use of Lloyd’s thoughtful facility with onstage cameras. Scherzinger and Tom Francis (as Joe Gillis) both won Oliviers, as did the show, in a massive sweep. Sunset Boulevard begins previews at the St James Theatre, on Broadway, on 28 September.

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Romeo & Juliet, Duke of York’s Theatre, 2024

Lloyd’s latest West End smash is his moody, meditative take on Shakespeare’s teen tragedy. Spider-Man star Tom Holland and incredible new talent Francesca Amewudah-Rivers play the achingly young lovers, and there’s brilliant support from Freema Agyeman, Michael Balogun, Nima Taleghani, and more. Surely Broadway beckons…

Production photo credits: Sara Krulwich, Marc Brenner, Emilio Madrid

Originally published on

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