Mark Bell trained at École Internationale de Theâtre, Jacques Lecoq (1990-92). He has worked since as an Actor, Teacher and now primarily as a Director.
Mark has worked on productions as diverse as devised shows and new writing (Hoipolloi, Snowfall, Blue Bloods) and directed classical and modern classic texts (Revenger's Tragedy, Comedians, Marat/Sade). But he made his name with The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, both still in London's West End and both with the acclaimed Mischief Theatre.
Mark directed the first version of TPTGW at The Old Red Lion in 2013. The show then transferred to Trafalgar Studios in the West End for two separate runs, the last one was also extended by the Theatre. The original One Act version then finished out its time with a sell out run at the Pleasance Theatre at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival. In fact in the final week of the festival the show was moved to a larger venue for one late night show to satisfy demand! The show was then picked up by Kenny Wax Ltd for a tour and the writers, Henry Lewis, Henry Shields and Jonathan Sayer, wrote a new Two Act version which was much more ambitious in terms of its visually comic set pieces. Mark directed this version in 2014 and it went on a national UK tour from February to July that year. The show then transferred to The Duchess Theatre in the West End, where it remains today, having just celebrated its 3rd Birthday and its 4th cast.
Mark has now directed TPTGW in Budapest, Rome, a second very successful tour of the UK, Hong Kong and New Zealand in 2017, with a third tour planned for 2018. He will also open a new production in Mexico City next May. The show opened in April 2017 at The Lyceum Theatre on Broadway with the original cast. The second cast, directed by Mark, opens on 19th September 2017.
This show has been a real life changer, and I cannot express enough my gratitude to Mischief Theatre and their enormous talent and commitment and for thinking of me in the first place!
Mark also directed Mischief's The Comedy About a Bank Robbery in 2016. It is now on its second cast at The Criterion Theatre in the West End. It is hoped it will also transfer and tour in the next year or so.
In 2017 Mark directed Waiting For Waiting For Godot by American playwright Dave Hanson at the St James Theatre in London. Mark is developing a new script with Dave for 2018, The Tenants, a ghost story set in New York. He is also hoping to do WFWFG again in the USA. Also in development is The Well by Hywel John for London and New York and a production of Desperate Writers by Catherine Schreiber and Joshua Grenrock in London.
Other directing includes: Che Distastre de Commedia (Rome and touring Italy in 2018), Ma Este Megbukunk (Budapest), Revenger's Tragedy (RDSSD), Blue Bloods by Anna Jordan (Riverside Hammersmith), The Master and Margarita, Pieces, Cheap Thrills and Classic Cuts (East 15), A Servant to Two Masters and Scapin (CMU, Pittsburgh), The Snowfall (Etcetera), Breathing Corpses, Comedians, Marat/Sade, The Crucible, Agamemnon Antigone and The Bacchae (LAMDA) and Flea Circus, George and the Dragon and Fiddlesticks (Garlic Theatre).
Mark was co-Artistic Director of Liquid Theatre from 2003 to 2013. Shows as an actor and director included Endgame (BAC ), Crave (BAC and tour), Feeding Time (BAC, also co-writer) and If You Were Mine (ACW, lead writer). As an actor Mark worked with Hoipolloi and Commotion Theatre Companies and extesively in Rep and touring in the UK and abroad.
Mark has taught at LAMDA, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Mountview, UEA and East 15 acting schools in the UK and at Cours Florent, Paris, ITACA in Puglia, Italy, and Carnegie Mellon University in the USA. He runs regular weekend and summer courses in clown, Bouffon, Commedia del Arte and Le Jeu. In 1998 Mark joined the teaching staff at LAMDA where he developed an integrated physical theatre programme for all three of the school's professional acting courses. He was also head of second year until his departure in 2010 to pursue a career in Directing.