Ian McKellen
(Movies & TV)
Patrick Stewart
(Movies & TV)
Sheila Gish
(Movies & TV)
Martin Sherman
Samuel Beckett
Helen Mirren
(Movies & TV)

See also

Sean Mathias

Knowledge Identifier: +Sean_Mathias


Sean Mathias

British theatre director, film director, writer and actor, known for directing the film Bent and for directing highly acclaimed theatre productions in London, New York, Cape Town, Los Angeles and Sydney add

Category: Music

Born in 1956.

Countries: United Kingdom (48%), United States (12%), UK (7%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Waiting for Godot

Linked to: Company




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Sean Mathias was born in 1956 add something


He has had a notable professional partnership with actor and former lover Sir Ian McKellen since the late 1970s add something


Mathias began his acting career by appearing on the television screen in a small role on an episode of the cult BBC TV series "Survivors", in 1977 add something


In 1978, Mathias appeared in a production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, during which time he met actor Ian McKellen who subsequently became his lover of about nine years add something


Ian McKellen - In 1978 he met his second partner, Sean Mathias, at the Edinburgh Festival.


The following year, he directed a revival of "Bent", the award-winning play by Martin Sherman that had opened on Broadway in 1979 starring McKellen add something


Mathias' acting career continued into the 1980s with minor appearances on TV and in films such as "Priest of Love", which starred McKellen as D. H. Lawrence, and "The Scarlet Pimpernel", starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour and McKellen add something


Another notable TV appearance was on the TV show "Minder" in 1982 add something


Mathias's play "Cowardice" was produced at the Ambassadors Theatre in London in 1983, starring Ian McKellen, Janet Suzman and Nigel Davenport and received poor reviews add something


He followed it with "Infidelities", which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1985 before transferring to London's Donmar Warehouse add something


In 1987, "A Prayer For Wings", directed by Joan Plowright, was produced in Edinburgh and, after winning a Fringe First awards, transferred to the Bush Theatre in London add something


He made one notable appearance in the 1988 film "White Mischief" as Gerald Portman add something


His writing includes a novel, "Manhattan Mourning", published in 1988, and the BBC TV film "The Lost Language of Cranes", broadcast in 1992 add something


Mathias' career as a theatre director began in 1988 with "Exceptions" add something


Later plays include "Poor Nanny" in 1989, and "Swansea Boys" in 1990 add something


A friend of Ian Charleson, whom he directed in "Bent", Mathias contributed a chapter to the 1990 book, "For Ian Charleson: A Tribute" add something


After receiving critical acclaim, Mathias directed a full run in 1990 with McKellen alongside Paul Rhys and Christopher Eccleston, winning the City Limits award for Revival of the Year add something


He had worked with Phillips before, directing her in another Pam Gems adaptation, Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts" at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff in 1993 add something


In 1994, Mathias won the London Critics Circle Theatre award for Best Director for Noël Coward's "Design for Living" and Jean Cocteau's "Les Parents terribles", starring Sheila Gish, Frances de la Tour, Alan Howard and Jude Law add something


Mathias directed his first Stephen Sondheim musical, "A Little Night Music", at the National Theatre in London in 1995, with Judi Dench and Siân Phillips add something


The latter transferred to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway in 1995 as "Indiscretions", with Law joined by Kathleen Turner, Eileen Atkins, Roger Rees and Cynthia Nixon add something


Mathias has had a home in South Africa since 1997 after visiting the country with the National Theatre in 1994 for a series of workshops add something


Mathias worked with Siân Phillips again in 1997, directing her as Marlene Dietrich in "Marlene", which transferred to Broadway two years later and gained two Tony award nominations add something


Released in 1997, it starred Clive Owen alongside McKellen, Mick Jagger, Rupert Graves, Jude Law and Lothaire Bluteau add something


Martin Sherman - Sherman adapted "Bent" for the big screen in 1997 with the help of director Sean Mathias and starring such actors as Clive Owen, Ray Fiennes, Ian McKellen, and Mick Jagger


Other London directorial credits include "Antony and Cleopatra", starring Alan Rickman and Helen Mirren, in 1998, and Tennessee Williams' "Suddenly Last Summer" with Sheila Gish in 1999 add something


Sheila Gish - In 1999 she played Miss Venable in Tennessee Williams's "Suddenly Last Summer", directed by Sean Mathias with Rachel Weisz at the Comedy Theatre, London


Also, in 2001, he directed an off-Broadway production of "Servicemen" by Evan Smith add something


Mathias' career moved to New York, where, in 2001, he directed McKellen and Helen Mirren in August Strindberg's "Dance of Death" add something


In 2002, he returned to Sondheim to direct "Company" at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. as part of its Sondheim Celebration, with a cast including John Barrowman and Lynn Redgrave add something


He went on to direct this in London and Sydney in 2003 add something


For the 2004 Christmas season, Mathias directed the pantomime "Aladdin" at the Old Vic in London, with McKellen as Widow Twankey alongside Maureen Lipman, Roger Allam and Joe McFadden add something


He made his South African directing debut in 2004 with Jean Anouilh's "Antigone", starring the South African actor John Kani add something


In 2005, Mathias directed Rebecca Lenkiewicz's "Shoreditch Madonna" at the Soho Theatre in London, starring Francesca Annis and Leigh Lawson add something


Rebecca Lenkiewicz - In July 2005 Lenkiewicz received generally encouraging reviews for her "Shoreditch Madonna", directed by Sean Mathias at the Soho Theatre


He returned to the US to direct Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard", with Annette Bening, Alfred Molina and Lothaire Bluteau, which opened at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 2006 add something


He was included in the 2006 list of the 101 most influential gay and lesbian people in Britain by the "Independent on Sunday" add something


Mathias has been based once again in London since 2006 and now lives in Hackney with his partner of 7 years, Paul de Lange add something


In 2007, he directed novelist Edna O'Brien's play, "Triptych", in Johannesburg, starring leading South African actor Dorothy-Anne Gould add something


He began 2008 by directing a revival of "Ring Round the Moon", Christopher Fry's adaption of Jean Anouilh's comedy, "L'Invitation au Château", starring Angela Thorne at London's Playhouse Theatre add something


He directed McKellen and Patrick Stewart in Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", which toured the UK in early 2009 before opening at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London in May 2009 add something


Ian McKellen - In 2009 he appeared in a very popular revival of Waiting for Godot at London's Haymarket Theatre, directed by Sean Mathias and playing opposite Patrick Stewart.


Ronald Pickup - Between March and August 2009, he starred as Lucky in Sean Mathias' production of "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett opposite Sir Ian McKellen , Patrick Stewart and Simon Callow


Simon Callow - Between March and August 2009, he starred as Pozzo in Sean Mathias's production of "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett opposite Sir Ian McKellen , Sir Patrick Stewart and Ronald Pickup


As of 2010, this film project was still in its pre-production stage add something


Mathias is co-owner of The Grapes pub along with business partners Ian McKellen and Evgeny Lebedev, since September 2011 add something


Pete Shaw - In 2011 he worked with photographer Paul Reiffer to create the website for The Grapes, famously owned by Evgeny Lebedev, Sean Mathias and Ian McKellen


Waiting for Godot - In 2013-2014 Mathias directed Waiting For Godot and No Man's Land again starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart on Broadway to rave reviews -- with Ben Brantley of the New York Times calling it "Absurdly Enjoyable" add something


Waiting for Godot - A new production directed by Sean Mathias began previews at the Cort Theatre on Broadway in late October 2013, with Ian McKellen as Estragon, Patrick Stewart as Vladimir, Billy Crudup as Lucky and Shuler Hensley as Pozzo


Mathias, as of 2014, is set to direct the film "Somewhat Dead", a horror- adventure- comedy film set in present-day England with a high profile cast add something


Martin Sherman - His most recent play "Gently Fown The Steam" premiered at the Public Theatre in New York in 2017, directed by Sean Mathias and starring Harvey Fierstein