James was an actor for 12 years and was appearing in Les Misérables at London’s Palace Theatre, when he was asked to take over the position of resident director in 1996.
Since that time he has worked on a variety of productions and during that time he was staff director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, assisting Jude Kelly on a number of projects including the Olivier Award-winning Singin’ in the Rain, which transferred from Leeds to the Royal National Theatre in London.
On returning to London he joined Cameron Mackintosh’s production of The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane as resident director. He then went to Melbourne, Australia, to direct its first foreign production for Jacobsen Entertainments.
James returned fromAustralia to take on the position of associate director on Les Misérables and oversaw the show’s move from its home of many years, the Palace Theatre, to the Queen’s Theatre on Shaftesbury Ave. He was also invited to direct a concert version of the show in Scandinavia and a full-scale production in Berlin.
Whilst maintaining his position as associate director on Les Misérables, James also worked on Cameron’s new presentation Mary Poppins, originally in Bristol and then in London’s West End and on Broadway. In June 2008 he directed the UK tour of Mary Poppins and will continue his association with this show when he directs it in Holland and Australia in 2010.
James was delighted to renew his association with the Jacobsen Entertainment Group when they asked him to direct their production of Dirty Dancing in London’s West End, a partnership that has seen him direct the show in Toronto, Utrecht, Chicago, US tour and Berlin.
He will direct the UK tour next year and the Broadway production thereafter.
James is delighted and honoured to be working on Cameron’s brand new production of Les Misérables, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of a show he was involved in originally as an actor and is now part of a new creative team.