Richard M. Shannon
Richard Shannon is the Head of Radio and Co-convenor of the MA in Radio and Module Leader for the Producer pathway in the MA in Musical Theatre at Goldsmiths, University of London. He also teaches the third-year undergraduate course in Radio and is a board member of the Pinter Research Centre. Richard set up the Myanmar Group in 2013 and He is currently supporting the campaign to restore democracy in Myanmar.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Richard was a Visiting Lecturer at Warwick University and taught an undergraduate course in playwriting. He is also currently researching political dramaturgy and the persecution of the LGBT community in Iran as part of a PhD programme at Goldsmiths. His main creative and research focus is on Human Rights and performance. Other research interests include: immersive and site-specific theatre, radio drama, audio aesthetics and Musical Theatre production. He has recently completed a chapter on Cameron Mackintosh for the OUP’s Handbook of the Global Musical.
Richard is a published playwright, theatre director and radio drama producer. In 2021 he produced a new audio drama on the tragedy of the New Cross fire in collaboration with the leading black archive organisation, Decolonising the Archive.
In 2021 he directed a musical version of Picnic at Hanging Rock by Sue Pearse and Becky Asplin for final year Musical Theatre students at Goldsmiths.
He also directed The Raking Monk by Robert White and Stuart Varnam-Atkin, an audio drama pilot, starring Derek Jacobi, Tara Fitzgerald and Togo Igawa.
In 2019 he directed a new chamber opera on the life of Puccini – Il Letto by Chris Hogg, at the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden.
His play The Lady of Burma premiered at the Old Vic theatre in London in 2006. The play has been translated into three languages and performed across the globe. In 2012, the Dukes theatre, Lancaster produced his play, Sabbat – the story of the Pendle witches. The play was revived in 2020 in Gloucester and will be performed in Bolton in 2021.
He was a founding director of Independent Radio Drama Productions and has produced major series for LBC radio in London and National Public Radio in the USA. He directed Chuckwudubelu, preserved of God, starring Ben Okafor for BBC Radio 4. He is currently a consultant producer for Wilkinson Audio Productions and Almost Tangible Ltd. In 2019 he conceived and produced a six hour podcast – Rainbow Dads, exploring the lives of gay and bi-sexual fathers. Rainbow Dads won Silver for Best Podcast at the Community Radio Awards 2020 and was nominated for Best Wellbeing Podcast at the British Podcasting Awards 2019.
Richard is a judge for the British Podcasting Awards and the Audible Audio Production Awards. He is also the Co-director of the Goldsmiths/Audible Audio Drama Festival.
His theatre work includes productions at the Cottesloe (National Theatre), the Young Vic Studio, the Bristol Old Vic studio and the Redgrave theatre. Richard has also worked as a producer on major public events, including the Royal Opening of St. Pancras International.
1978-81: New College, Oxford
BA (Hons) 2.1 – English Language and Literature
1987: MA (Oxon) – English Language and Literature
1983-4: Postgraduate Theatre Director Attachment – Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
2000- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
2012-14 PGCE/QTLS - Westminster University
2018: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2020 - Head of Radio and co-convenor of MA Radio, Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London
2012 - Convenor - MA Musical Theatre (producer pathway), Department of Theatre and Performance, Goldsmiths, University of London
2012 - 2018 Visiting Lecturer (Playwriting) Warwick University
2010 - Lecturer (Radio Drama and documentary: BA and MA Creative Radio) Goldsmiths, Department of Media and Communications.
2010-13 0.5 Lecturer – Drama practice – Newham College
2010-11 Visiting Lecturer – Module leader BA Playwriting and Site Specific theatre/ Module leader: MA Adaptation – University of East London
2001-5 Senior Lecturer (0.5) BSc in Special Effects
London Southbank University.
1990-97 Visiting Lecturer – Drama Department, Goldsmiths
Tutor on the MA in the process of production
2016 – 2018: MA in Theatre Producing – London Southbank University
2015 - 2019: MA in Creative Producing – Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts
2006-9 External Examiner – Media and Communications Department, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Professional Production roles
2021- Consultant for Decolonising the Archive: In the Mix – an audio play commemorating the tragedy of the New Cross Fire 1981
2017 - Consultant for Almost Tangible Productions: Macbeth
2017 - Producer for Wilkinson Productions
2016 - Producer for UK/Korean co-production of the musical - Zombies V Flatmates
2008-11 Co-Director Shannon and Clark Productions Ltd.
2003 - 2008 Associate Director (New Work) at Polka Theatre – responsible for policy development/dramaturgy/commissioning of new work (part-time).
1998-2003 Literary Manager – Polka (part-time).
2004 Radio consultant/producer with Big Heart Media.
1997-8 Literary Associate – Pop Up Theatre company (part-time)
1987-2000 Co-director of Independent Radio Drama Productions Ltd.
The UK’s leading independent producer of radio drama, based at LBC in London and broadcasting both in the UK and the US on National Public Radio.
1988-91 Youth Theatre Director (part-time) The Cockpit Theatre, London.
1986-7 TIE Director – The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham, Surrey.
1984-6 Director/youth theatre director – Commonstock Theatre company, London.
1981-3 Youth Theatre Director – Fareham and Portsmouth Drama Centres.
2021: Public Engagement Award to produce a commemorative podcast on the New Cross Fire in collaboration with Decolonising the Archive.
2016: International Engagement Fund Award (Goldsmiths, University of London) to develop collaborations with Myanmar.
2013: Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (Warwick university)
Award to explore the pedagogy of playwriting.
2012: Peggy Ramsay award to research a new play about Iran
1996: National Endowment for the Humanities (USA) Research Award:
Innocents Abroad – radio series on the American experience of Europe
Arts Council Awards
2016: Artists' International Development Fund Award for Zombies V Flatmates
2014: Development grant for Walaa by Ahmed Masoud
2008: Development grant for Olympic Dreamer by Richard Shannon
2006: Development grant for The Lady of Burma by Richard Shannon
UK Sony awards – Radio Academy Award – Most creative use of Radio - 1989
Bronze Award for Down the Wanderers by Peter Simmons -1993
International Radio Festival of New York
Best Directing – Silver Medal for the Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad 1989
Best Drama Series – Gold Medal for Canterbury Tales -1990
Prix Italia Commendation for Vissi D’arte by Paul Sirett – 1991
Prix Futura Nomination for Saddam’s Arms by Simon Beaufoy -1993
Writers’ Guild of GB – Commendation for developing and fostering New Writing – 1996
Daily Telegraph/ABSA award for Youth Sponsorship for The Woolwich Young Radio Playwrights’ Festival – 1991
2021: The Future of Media edited by Professor Joanna Zylinska
Chapter 13: If 6 Were 9 (or 2 x 108): A Case Study of the One Oh Eight Project by Richard M. Shannon, NG Bristow and Mathapelo Mofokeng
2021: Paving the way: Cameron Mackintosh and the Development and Impact of the Global Musical : Oxford University Press
2012: Sabbat - Oberon Modern Plays
2007: The Lady of Burma - Oberon Modern Plays
1984: El Salvador Nativity - Christian Aid
1983: The World Feast - Christian Aid
Membership of External Bodies
2017- Board member – New Earth Theatre company
2011- Member of the Society for Education and Training
2010-2021 Board member - The New Diorama Theatre, London.
2006-8 Chair – The Theatre Group at the Directors’ Guild of GB (DGGB)
2004 Judge of the Meyer Whitworth Award – ACE England / RNT
2004-08 Chair – The National Literary Management Forum
1999-08 Council Member – The DGGB
1996-8 Vice-Chair – Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre
1995-8 Trustee – The Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
1994 Judge – International Radio Festival of New York
1993-6 Member of the London Arts Board Theatre Literary Director steering group
1990 UK Independent Radio representative at the European Union Broadcast conference
2015: University of Copenhagen International Radio Drama conference – paper on the Incomplete Recorded Works of a Dead Body by Ed Hime.
2008 UK delegate – Literary Managers and Dramaturges of the Americas conference Minneapolis, USA
2007 UK delegate – Dramaturgy Conference – Frankfurt
2012: Sabbat - The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster and tour, including the Orange Tree theatre, Richmond.
2009: Adaptation of Smile as they Bow by Nu Nu Yi – The Drill Hall
2007: All Our Hellos and Goodbyes – John Betjeman and the Saving of St.Pancras/ The German Gymnasium
2006-7: The Lady of Burma – The Burma Campaign – The Old Vic, London/national tour/Riverside Studios London.
International productions include: det norske teatret, Oslo / teatrpolonia, Warsaw / Centre for film and drama, Bangalore / Beehive theatre, Kerry.
2006: William Barlow (deceased) – London and Continental Railways – The German Gymnasium
As Screen writer
2010 Suria – a feature length screen play on the Syrian civil war commissioned by Pearl productions ltd
2008 Steel Orchid – a feature length screen play on the life of Aung San Suu Kyi
Commissioned by Uproar Productions
As Theatre Director
2021 Hanging Rock - the musical (a world premiere of a musical adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsey) Book by Susanna Pearese and Music by Becky Asplin
2019: Il Letto by Chris Hogg – The Actors’ Church, Covent Garden
2014: Walaa by Ahmed Masoud - The New Diorama Theatre and St.Martin-in-the- Fields
2008: Olympic Dreamer by Richard Shannon - The German Gymnasium
2006: Stamping, Shouting, Singing Home by Lisa Evans – Polka Main House
2006: Bear Stories by Martin Waddell – Polka Studio
2005: Dazzling Medusa by Geraldine McCaughrean – Polka Main House
2004: Pallace of Gold by Richard Shannon – The Guild Hall
2003: Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - The Mansion House
2002: Boy by Roald Dahl/Mike Kenny – Polka Main House
2000: The International Café by Paul Sirett – Theatre 503
1997: Catslaughter by Glen Poole at the Cottesloe (RNT) – festival of new work.
1996: Mr Choc-Ice by Glen Poole at the Cambridge Theatre, London.
1996: Free Fall by Elizabeth Berry at BAC
1995: Sabbat by Richard Shannon at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London
1990: Biko by Paa ‘C’ Oshipi Quaye (Ujamma Theatre company) at the Hackney Empire and the King’s Head, London
1988: Blood and Ice by Liz Lochhead at the Young Vic Studio
1986: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl – Redgrave Main House
1985: Still Dancing by Commonstock Writer’s group – London tour
1984: UBU Roi – Commonstock Youth Theatre – The Finborough Theatre
1984: Don Perlimplin by Lorca – Bristol Old Vic Studio
As Radio Producer
2005: Chuwudubelu by Justin Butcher starring Ben Okafor – BBC Radio 4 Friday Play
1999: Daisy by Olwen Wymark starring Gwen Taylor and Ann Mitchell – IRDP/ LBC Radio
1998: Charlie from the Outside by John Park and Frank Johnson starring Frances Barber
1997: Man Afraid by Kevin Daisley starring Anita Dobson
1996: The Hibiscus Trail by Robert Mendelsohn starring David Yip
1996: Frankenstein starring Mike McCormack, Crawford Logan and Stephen Thorne.
1995: Dracula starring Don Henderson, Kenneth Haigh and Aden Gillet LBC/ National Public Radio (USA)
1995: Sherlock Holmes starring Edward Petherbridge LBC/National Public Radio USA)
1994: Clash of Honour by Robert Mendelsohn starring Frances Tomelty and Togo Igawa
1994: Echoes of D-Day with Lord Callaghan and Phil Collins LBC/ National Public Radio (USA)
1994: No Boy’s Cricket Club by Roy Williams starring Donna Croll – IRDP
1994: The Wolf and the Woodcutter by Martin McDonagh starring Peter Guinness – IRDP/LBC Radio
1993: Lotus Blossom by Karen Hope starring Veda Warwick
1993: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad starring Gerard Murphy and Michael Elwyn
1992: Saddam’s Arms by Simon Beaufoy starring Nerys Hughs and Dave Hill – IRDP/LBC Radio
1991: Vissi d'Arte by Paul Sirett starring Michael Elwyn and Stephen Thorne.
2013-15 Peut-être theatre company: exploration of sound with the university of Southampton Acoustics department and Great Ormond Street Hospital in preparation for a new dance piece: Sh..Bang.
2007 First High Tide Festival: development of texts by Sarah Cuddon, Sam Holcroft and Megan Walsh.
2005 Yellow Earth Typhoo Festival:
Inugami by Shuji Terayama
Nine Dragons by Li Yan Bo
Member of discussion panel on South East Asian Theatre at Typhoon
2003 Yellow Earth Typhoo Festival:
A cup of Tea by Kumiko Toda
Way Out by Pak Ling Wan
2002 Hey There Boy with the Bebop by Abi Bown at Soho Theatre as part of a New Writing Festival
2004 Nesto by Philippe Cherbonnier as part of the Playgrounding Festival at Polka
2000 Clip by Elizabeth Heery at the BAC
1997 O’Leary’s Daughters by Elizabeth Baines at the Writers’ Guild/Directors’ Guild Five Plays in Five Days Festival
1997 International Playwriting Festival – Warehouse Theatre, Croydon - Producer
Dramaturgy for Polka includes world premieres of the following plays:
Irish Pele by Roy Williams
Child of the Divide by Sudha Bucher (Tamasha/Polka)
Monkey in the Stars and Just So by Jamila Gavin
The Playground by Beverley Naidoo
Mother Africa by Ad de Bont
2005: The Legend of Billy the Kid – First Assistant Director – Wilkinson Productions
2005: Quartet by Heiner Muller – Director - starring Jo Welcome – SBU Productions
2004: Virus 2050 by Dan Martin – Director - starring Geoffrey Burton – SBU Productions
2003: Christmas Carol – Director – starring Martin Head – SBU Productions
2002: The Fall – Director/Writer – starring Paddy Fletcher – SBU Productions
2008: Writer: Operation Bottle Smash -The Gala launch of P&O cruiser Ventura – a film and live action event starring: Jonathan Pryce, Roger Moore, Patricia Hodge, Peter Firth, Samantha Bond and Dame Helen Mirren
Writer: The Legend of Port Ghalib – script for the opening of a new hotel on the Red Sea.
2007: Writer/co-producer :The Royal opening of St. Pancras International – dramatic text starring Tim West
1992-4: In Flight Entertainment – Drama programmes for Cathy Pacific, BA and Concorde
1993-5: Music Box – A 52 CD series published with a colour magazine for children combining drama with classical music
1996: Actors in Industry – training dramas on CD for ICI
Interests include: fencing (foil & sabre), classical guitar, painting and drawing.