Current and forthcoming credits include: THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13 ¾: THE MUSICAL (West End – previously Menier Chocolate Factory & Leicester Curve); & JULIET (Manchester Opera House & West End).
Theatre credits include: BILLIONAIRE BOY (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton & UK Tour); NEWSIES (Arts Ed); MURDER FOR TWO (Watermill Theatre, The Other Palace & UK Tour); SPRING AWAKENING (Hope Mill, Manchester); IN THE HEIGHTS (Kings Cross Theatre & Southwark Playhouse); PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (Royal & Derngate); NIGHT MUST FALL (Salisbury Playhouse & UK Tour); STIG OF THE DUMP (UK Tour); OLIVER! (Watermill Theatre); WORKING; CASA VALENTINA; NEXT FALL (Southwark Playhouse); A CHRISTMAS CAROL; THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO; THE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS (Castle Theatre); BED AND SOFA (Finborough); THE GREAT BRITISH SOAP OPERA (Jermyn Street & Edinburgh); JET SET GO (Jermyn Street & Theatre 503).
His production of IN THE HEIGHTS won three Olivier Awards and a nomination for Best New Musical. The show also won the Broadway World Award for Best New Production of a Musical and received nine WhatsOnStage Award nominations, including Best Director. His production of SPRING AWAKENING was awarded the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Regional Production. THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13 ¾ received nominations for the Evening Standard Award for Best New Musical and the UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People. Luke was also nominated for the Off West End Award for Best Director for CASA VALENTINA.
Internationally, Luke has directed new productions of JERSEY BOYS (UAE & China) and MAMMA MIA (Cyprus). He previously worked as Associate Director on several major productions including MATILDA (RSC, West End & Broadway) and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (Chichester Festival Theatre, West End & Tokyo).
Luke recently collaborated on a theatre project and TV documentary with Sky Arts exploring computational creativity and the musical theatre form and is an associate artist of the Original Theatre Company.
BILLIONAIRE BOY is a “fully fledged, hit-heavy musical”
Directed by Luke Sheppard and with a design by Gabriella Slade, this hit new musical is an adaptation of the David Walliams novel that premiered at Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre.
“The show's star turns, though, come from director Sheppard and choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves, who marshal proceedings with infectious, unflagging enthusiasm. Everything is bouncing and bubbly throughout, and Gabriella Slade's sliding, unfolding set provides the perfect platform for their panache.”
“musical adaptations of David Walliams books can put a tap in your toe, a smile on your face and a tear in your eye… [in] Luke Sheppard’s imaginative production”
“…this ensemble feel like a gang. They zero in on the story’s fun, but also its heart. Ryan Heenan, as Joe, holds it all together with the perfect blend of spirit and naivety.”
“Luke Sheppard’s buoyant, somewhat rough-around-the-edges production boasts suitably outsized performances.”
“the score is terrific: a peppy mix of electro pop, power ballads and funky rhythmic rock largely played by guitar-toting pupils.”
“Pretty much out of nowhere, a fully-fledged, hit-heavy musical has appeared. Considering the talent behind it – Rotterdam writer Jon Brittain, In the Heights director Luke Sheppard – maybe that’s not such a surprise, but this has still taken a remarkably short time to go from concept to staging compared to most musicals.”
“the cartoonish hues of Gabriella Slade’s set conjure some of the sharp corners of Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations”
“this is a cracker of Christmas show: a really strong, super-funny new musical with serious commercial gloss”
THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGED 13 ¾ opens at Menier Chocolate Factory.
Luke Sheppard’s production, originally staged at Leicester Curve in 2015, runs at the Chocolate Factory until 9th Sept, with Choreography by Rebecca Howell and Lighting by Howard Hudson.
Evening Standard ★★★★★
“What an absolute pleasure it is to be able to offer a full-throated commendation of that rarest of beasts, a perfectly realised new British musical.”
“Luke Sheppard’s production fizzes with pep and verve”
“A lovely, lovely show.”
What’s On Stage ★★★★★
“an entertainment-focused spectacle with smart jokes and even better songs.”
“it resonates with everyone, not just those who remember Maggie.”
The Idependent ★★★★★
"perfectly capturing the inherently comic nature of puberty."
"This endearing and thoroughly enjoyable show should not be missed."
The Guardian ★★★★
“a fresh and funny show”
“the show effortlessly recreates a vanished era.”
“Luke Sheppard’s production is swift, lively and makes good use of an ensemble in which the adults turn, in a second, into blazered or gym-slipped schoolkids.”
“it has bounce and charm and appealed equally to myself and my 12-year-old advisor.”
The Telegraph ★★★★
“a glorious summer-holiday treat at the Menier Chocolate Factory.”
“Luke Sheppard’s ebullient yet compact staging”
The Stage ★★★★
“succinctly captures the essence of Townsend's original.”
“a joyous British musical comedy that feels funny, poignant and – despite being set in the 1980s – remarkably fresh.”
The Times ★★★★
“You really can’t help but laugh.”
“It’s perfect summer holiday fare.”
“it’s the full-throttle performances and exuberantly absurdist humour of Luke Sheppard’s galloping production that really bring the magic.”
“book now so you can smugly say you caught it before the West End transfer.”
Luke Sheppard and Gabriella Slade open WORKING at Southwark Playhouse
Stephen Schwartz’s musical, based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with the American workforce, receives its European Premiere directed by Luke Sheppard, with Costume Design by Gabriella Slade. Running until 8th July.
The Upcoming ★★★★★
“possibly the most striking musical of the year.”
“Working is powerful, relevant and not on for long enough.”
West End Wilma ★★★★★
“Another triumph for the theatre and director Luke Sheppard alike, Working deserves to be seen and I’m very happy the everyday Londoner now has the chance.”
“a brilliant production”
The Stage ★★★★
“The powerful achievement of Working is to tell ordinary stories in an extraordinary way.”
“Director Luke Sheppard and choreographer Fabian Aloise bring these disparate stories together with texture and reach”
“Evocative and inspiring”
Broadway World ★★★★
“Jean Chan and Gabriella Slade's designs are wonderfully evocative”
“This production has a clear focus, thanks to the direction of Luke Sheppard, and all of the material has been pieced together perfectly, like a musical theatre jigsaw puzzle. The atmosphere and energy it generates is infectious, raising valid points whilst entertaining its audience.”
“Director Luke Sheppard has assembled an impressive ensemble of new and established talent.”
“Southwark Playhouse has built a reputation for high quality imports of unsung American musicals, and 'Working' is no exception.”
The Sunday Express ★★★★
"has a joyous energy in Luke Sheppard’s stylish production"
“Sheppard’s staging, with compact, punchy choreography by Fabian Aloise, has terrific verve and the performances are superb.”
Luke Sheppard, Tom Attwood and Gabriella Slade open MURDER FOR TWO at the Watermill
Luke Sheppard directs the UK premiere of this acclaimed Off-Broadway whodunit musical, designed by Gabriella Slade, and with Musical direction and co-sound design by Tom Attwood. Playing in Newbury until the 25th Feb prior to a run at the Other Palace Studio in London.
What’s On Stage ★★★★
“Gabriella Slade's marvellously detailed set”
“fast-moving, affectionate homage to Agatha Christie.”
“Some of the show's best moments are the gloriously precise transitions from piano to centre stage, topped by four hands on one keyboard.”
“Luke Sheppard directs with pinpoint precision, so that every transition, every tiny movement is flawlessly slick.”
“it makes for a delicious start to the Watermill's 50th anniversary year.”
The Telegraph ★★★★
“the spectacle of youth having its spoofing way remains one of theatre’s highest pleasures”
“If you need a break from doom and gloom like a hole in the head, steer well clear. Otherwise, enjoy.”
“frenetic and hilarious”
Get Reading ★★★★
“High-energy, plenty of humour”
“had me laughing from start to finish.”
“It's incredible how a simple addition of some glasses, a hat swish or a voice change had such an effect on how the story unfolded for audiences.”
“Congratulations to director Luke Sheppard, cast and crew for putting together a truly enjoyable show that was the perfect start to the year-long anniversary celebrations.”
"a smart, jaunty show"
"director Luke Sheppard – who staged Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pre-Hamilton musical with such panache – keep it all under control."
"And the piano? Well, frankly, it’s the star. Both men play with aplomb. There’s a lot of Marx Brothers-type music to keep us going and to fill in any gaps, of which there are more than a few."
"you can’t help but admire the craft, the musicianship and the banter"
"The set, by Gabriella Slade, is atmospheric, a shambolic musical noir."
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER opens at the Royal and Derngate.
Luke Sheppard directs the European premiere of PETER AND THE STARCATHER in Northampton, winner of 5 Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway. David Woodhead is Designer, with Costumes by Gabriella Slade and Lighting by Howard Hudson. Tom Attwood is Musical Director. Playing until 31st September.
The Reviews Hub ★★★★★
“an absolute delight from start to finish”
“such is the skill of David Woodhead’s design that little imagination is actually required as sails appear, ladders become ships, a lifebelt is transformed into a window.”
“Luke Sheppard has created a production that is funny, effective and incredibly slick”
“once this show takes off it just keeps on flying. If you want to leave the theatre with a massive smile on your face and a warm feeling inside, look no further than the Royal & Derngate and Peter and the Starcatcher. Superb.”
Whats On Stage ★★★★
“stunningly recreated set design by David Woodhead.”
“the brilliance of the execution, deftly handled by director Luke Sheppard.”
“a rip-roaring adventure that grabs you from the opening moments and drags you unceremoniously along for the ride.”
The Stage ★★★★
“a beautiful exploration of the fragility of childhood and the joy of adventure”
“clever and funny and desperately sad”
Broadway World ★★★★
“What set there is, is beautiful and inventive, as are the costumes.”
“The whole production is slick and clever.”
IN THE HEIGHTS transfers to Kings Cross Theatre!
Luke Sheppard’s production of this Tony Award-winning musical transfers following its critically acclaimed and sold-out run at Southwark Playhouse last year. With Lighting by Howard Hudson, IN THE HEIGHTS has just extended its run in Kings Cross until January.
The Stage ★★★★★
“a big contagious hug of a show”
“there's such energy here that you are utterly swept away.”
West End Frame ★★★★★
“quite simply a musical like no other.”
“Sheppard's direction is outstanding”
“back with a bang and better than ever. You, and everybody you know, have to see this show.”
The Guardian ★★★★
“an utterly huggable and thrillingly exuberant celebration”
“A brilliantly enjoyable night that lights up London theatre.”
The Times ★★★★
“In Luke Sheppard’s production the show is fresh, vibrant and exuberant."
“Sheppard’s traverse staging brings the audience thrillingly close to the narrow strip of high-octane action.”
“An exhilarating riot of passion, steam and swagger.”
What’s On Stage ★★★★
London Theatre ★★★★★
“the show throbs with energy and exhilaration.”
Time Out ★★★★
“This is musical theatre bursting with new life.”