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.


Website: richardshannon.co.uk

Email: r.shannon@gold.ac.uk

Mobile: 07984478052





Academic qualifications

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



Academic posts

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




External Examiner

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                          


Radio Awards


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

















Public Outputs


As Playwright



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.




As Dramaturge:


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





Short Films


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  




Commercial Projects


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.