James was formerly Joint Artistic Director of Paines Plough, the UK’s national theatre of new plays, alongside George Perrin. During their tenure, Paines Plough produced 49 world premiere productions on tour to 291 places across the UK and internationally by playwrights ranging from debutants to Olivier, Tony® and BAFTA winners. In 2014, they launched Roundabout, the world’s first pop-up plug-and-play theatre to tour new plays to underserved places.
James was Associate Director at The Bush Theatre from 2008-2010 and previously founded and ran the new writing company nabokov which forged an international reputation for presenting theatre events everywhere from pubs to warehouses to music festivals to Off-Broadway. He was awarded an MBE in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2020 for services to theatre.
Directing includes: Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret (Gothenburg Opera in Sweden), The Assassination Of Katie Hopkins (Theatr Clwyd) (Best Musical Production at 2018 UK Theatre Awards), Les Misérables (Wermland Opera) and Brian Friel’s Translations (Sheffield Theatres, English Touring Theatre, and The Rose Theatre) (Best Production at 2014 UK Theatre Awards)