by Harold Pinter for Derby LIVE (2010)

by various writers for Soho Theatre (2009) - the first London theatre response to the 2008 economic crash

The Times ★★★★

“Ten short sharp responses to the current economic crisis that collectively blaze with anger, buzz with wit and crackle with acute anxiety … in Lisa Goldman and Esther Richardson’s stripped-down staging [the plays] are vital and the best are thrillingly inventive. So much soaring, if scattergun, talent is, even these doom-laden days, cause for optimism.”

The Evening Standard ★★★★

“Nifty Soho has got there first, with an appealingly low budget evening of ten short plays.”

Financial Times

“Nippily delivered by a versatile cast on an appropriately threadbare set of packing cases, this is an astute and uplifting response to the current gloom and uncertainty.”

Further work includes:-

TOWN by DC Moore for Royal and Derngate, Northampton (2010)

The Sunday Times ★★★★

“Every performance in Esther Richardson’s production holds you. By the end, you don’t want to leave its warm embrace.”

The Daily Telegraph ★★★★

“Esther Richardson’s production sustains a mood of intensity, mystery and beauty, catching the sudden shafts of sunlit possibility that streak across Moore’s small-town scenario of despondent, even suicidal hopelessness.”

The Times ★★★★

“Town is a beauty. … Esther Richardson’s production excels in its unflustered depiction of the desire and denial running through ordinary life.”

What’s On Stage ★★★★

“Esther Richardson’s intense 90-minute production, played in a traverse arrangement on the stage of the Royal, hidden from the spookily abandoned auditorium – is a powerful study in alienation not only in Its local detail and resonating anguish and anomie, but in its poetic sense of identity crisis.”

The Stage

“A mesmerising tour de force. … Under Esther Richardson’s direction, both plays are totally captivating and give an accessibility to two of Pinter’s finest works without making them any less thought-provoking.”


co-created by Esther Richardson and Andy Barrett for Derby Live (2011)

Skybus was an adventure which took an audience on a bus to East Midlands Airport and back again.

The Guardian ★★★★

“Probably the only instance in which being stuck in an airport departure lounge becomes the definition of a good time.”

Derby Evening Telegraph

“A soaraway success”


by Richard Cameron for Cast in Doncaster (2013)

The opening production for Cast in Doncaster www.castindoncaster.com

What’s On Stage ★★★★

“Esther Richardson’s unfussy production... very strongly cast, of a play that fits perfectly with time and space.”

The Stage

“Esther Richardson’s production gives tender and searing interpretation...”


by Emteaz Hussain for Tamasha and Belgrade theatre, Coventry (touring 2015)

“Emteaz Hussain’s intelligently directed drama ...in Esther Richardson’s intelligently sparse production, the characters’ tendency to internalise their worst fears makes the reason for their anxiety more vividly apparent.” The Guardian

“Wonderfully sharp... the performances enthralling” ****Time Out


by Mufaro Makubika for Nottingham Playhouse (2015)

I’ve had the good fortune to collaborate on two of Mufaro’s early plays here turning Nottingham Playhouse Studio into an Army barracks.

“I applaud the way Mugarisanwa, with the help of director Esther Richardson, actively engaged the audience, not just through an effective use of the studio space but how the Zimbabwean actor broke the invisible boundary between voyeur and subject to develop a mature but tangibly intimate connection with the viewer” Impact Magazine

“In Esther Richardson’s wonderfully theatrical production, Pattani gradually discovers her character’s ability to trust, and Samuel-Bal grows slowly into a man. This is a superb example of new writing, and the enjoyable production is a fitting tribute to this company’s good work” ****The Stage

“Esther Richardson directs with great confidence and flair” The Arts Desk

“Blood, simply put, is a beautiful production” ***** Female Arts

Designed by Sara Perks, Lighting design by Aideen Malone, Music by Arun Ghosh

Design Sara Perks, Lighting Aideen Malone, Sound Design Adam McCready


by Noel Coward for Mercury Theatre, Colchester (2016)

“Esther Richardson has delivered an explosive interpretation of Coward’s popular comedy of manners... Ashmore’s performance paves the way for a relationship that makes much more sense to a contemporary audience.”

****The Stage

Design Sara Perks, Lighting Richard Godin, Sound Design Adam McCready

“This is no ordinary production but a piece of immersive theatre where the audience are as much a part of the show as the actors... Does it work as theatre? The answer is yes. After an hour of running through classrooms after dark, chasing false leads... the audience is asked who they would trust with the future of society - the government official or self-styled people’s champion? ... it is an unforgettable hour of theatre.”

Yorkshire Evening Post

The original production of Traitor has now been made into a unique two player game using VR and funded by Creative XR

Design Kate Unwin, Video Anders Nybø,Composition Richard Hammarton

TRAITOR by Esther Richardson, Cecilie Lundsholt and Richard Hurford for Pilot Theatre and Teatret Vãrt Norway

Derby Evening Telegraph

“A production that pulls no punches but that can also be heart-warmingly funny. Totally believable.”

WASTELAND by Laura Lomas
for New Perspectives/Derby LIVE (2009)


By Graham Greene, adapted by Bryony Lavery for Pilot Theatre and York Theatre Royal (touring 2018)

One of The Times’s best ten plays of 2018:

“From the get-go Esther Richardson’s production grips tightly as it stakes its own territory... Both faithful and innovative - nice touch, wonderful show.” Dominic Maxwell ****The Times

“Esther Richardson’s dark, emotionally ambitious production could be something really remarkable.” Susannah Clapp ****The Observer

“Directed by Pilot Theatre’s Esther Richardson, the production is propulsive and energetic.” Natasha Tripney ****The Stage

“The staging by Esther Richardson is ingenious.” Michael Billington, The Guardian

Design Sara Perks, Lighting Aideen Malone, Composition Hannah Peel, Sound Design Adam McCready, Movement Jenni Jackson


By Malorie Blackman, adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz for Pilot Theatre, Derby Theatre, York Theatre Royal, Belgrade Coventry and Colchester Mercury (touring 2019)

“Richardson’s production tears along in a fiery red box” Susannah Clapp Susannah Clapp ****The Observer

“A compelling staging...

Blackman has famously said that her greatest wish is for the book to no longer be so relevant. Esther Richardson’s blistering production reminds us, unfortunately, that wish is a long way from coming true.” ****The Stage

“From Sabrina Mahfouz’s pacy adaptation to Simon Kenny’s clever set and Esther Richardson’s sensitive direction, Noughts and Crosses is a stunning production that has the power to shock.” British Theatre Guide

Esther Richardson has put the story on stage in a gripping adaptation...” The Guardian

Design Simon Kenny, Lighting Joshua Pharo, Video Ian William Galloway, Movement/Associate Direction Corey Campbell, Music/Sound Arun Ghosh and Xana

Design Sara Perks, Sound Design Adam McCready

BE MY BABY by Amanda Whittington

for Derby Live (2011)

A revival of Amanda’s play with a community chorus.

The Guardian ★★★★

“Esther Richardson’s sensitive production features fine work from Emily Alexander’s optimistic Dolores, Jenny Hulse’s distressed Norma and Michelle Tate’s been-here-before Queenie. But the evening belongs to Jessica Clark’s exceptionally poignant Mary, who begins the play no more than a child and heartbreakingly ends up leaving without one.”

I’ve been directing theatre for over 20 years. Ten shows I’m especially proud to have made are:

DANCEHALL an adaptation of Le Bal by Theatre du Campagnol

A community production for Cast in Doncaster -

a wordless piece about the history of Doncaster from the perspective of a dancefloor, co-directed with Lucy Hind