Born and educated in Scotland, he first worked as an ASM at the old Byre Theatre, St Andrews. In London he was worked as a director extensively in both the commercial and subsidised sectors with a period as Associate Director at the Mermaid Theatre and over a decade as Artistic Director of the Greenwich Theatre. In the West End he has directed over 30 productions ranging from new plays to revivals and musical revue in work by writers as varied as Coward, Ayckbourn, Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare. Directing credits include: HENRY IV PART 1 (his fifth production for the New Shakespeare Company at Regent’s Park); GLORIOUS with Maureen Lipman (Duchess Theatre); Ben Brown’s LARKIN WITH WOMEN (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond); ENTERTAINING ANGELS (Chichester Festival Theatre) with Penelope Keith; THE LETTER (Wyndham’s Theatre) with Jenny Seagrove and Anthony Andrews; for the Peter Hall Company in Bath and on tour, Alan Ayckbourn’s HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES, Ayckbourn’s ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR (Garrick); YEAR OF THE RAT (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and RELATIVELY SPEAKING starring Peter Bowles (Bath and on tour); BALMORAL by Michael Frayn (Theatre Royal Bath and on tour) and Ben Brown's THE PROMISE (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond).
In regional theatre he has worked at Birmingham Rep, Bristol Old Vic, West Yorkshire Playhouse and, most regularly at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. Overseas he has directed in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin and New York.
Alan is a frequent broadcaster and also writes regularly for The Independent. His biography of Michael Redgrave, SECRET DREAMS was published in 2004.