Acclaimed filmmaker and architect of Britain’s spectacular Olympics opening ceremony, Danny Boyle is proud of his Northern roots, and has been a Patron of Cornerhouse since 1986.
Boyle was born in Manchester and began his career in theatre at the Joint Stock Theatre Company before moving on to the Royal Court Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Boyle has directed a number of films including Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, A Life Less Ordinary, 28 Days Later, 127 Days and Slumdog Millionaire, for which he won an Academy Award and BAFTA for Best Director.
Star of Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42, Meera Syal is probably best known as a household name in British comedy. Yet there’s more to her than simply playing it for laughs. As well as being a BAFTA-nominated TV and stage actress, and holding an MBE, Syal is also the author of several novels – including the semi-autobiographical Anita and Me – and is a highly successful journalist and scriptwriter, including for the film Bhaji on the Beach – a film written, directed and acted by an almost entirely South Asian female cast and crew.
Nicholas Hytner is Director of the National Theatre, where his productions include Hamlet, One Man, Two Guvnors and The History Boys, and where he introduced the Travelex ticket seasons and National Theatre Live cinema broadcasts. He has worked at the RSC, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Leeds Playhouse and the Royal Exchange, while his work in opera includes productions for The Royal Opera House, ENO and Glyndebourne. His films include The Madness of King George and The Crucible.
Jackie Kay MBE is one of Scotland’s most distinguished writers. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, her most recent collection of poems, Fiere, was shortlisted for the Costa award, while the novel Trumpet won the Guardian Fiction Award. Jackie also writes extensively for stage and television, including the Library Theatre Company’s Manchester Lines, and is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.
Asif Kapadia is a celebrated filmmaker whose BAFTA-winning film, Senna is the UK’s most successful documentary at the box office; his debut feature The Warrior won the Best British Film BAFTA; Standard Operating Procedure, his four minute film on the force- feeding of Guantánamo Bay detainees, received 10 million views in the days after its release. Asif is currently making a feature documentary on the life of Amy Winehouse.
Suranne Jones rose to fame as Karen McDonald in Coronation Street, and her credits range from the lead role in Orlando at the Royal Exchange, to the humanoid incarnation of the Tardis in Doctor Who. Theatre credits include Blithe Spirit at the Royal Exchange, Sandra in Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre, and Top Girls at Chichester and then the West End. She has won many awards, including the Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in A Few Good Men at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with Rob Lowe, and a Royal Television Society Award for Best Performance in a Drama for Scott & Bailey.
Phil Collins is a Turner Prize- nominated artist who was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts in 2001 and has presented solo exhibitions at venues including Tate Britain and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His work is held in public collections such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum. He is Professor of Video Art at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne.
Celebrated artist Rosa Barba lives and works in Berlin. Barba’s installations explore the material properties of film as well as probing the structure of cinematic narratives and its relationship to memory. In 2013 she presented Subject to Constant Change, a major solo exhibition at Cornerhouse.
Other recent solo shows include: Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK, 2013; Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, 2013; MUSAC, Castilla y Leon, Spain, 2013, Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2012. She has participated in group shows at MAXXI Museum, Rome; Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz; La Cinémathèque Française, Paris; WIELS, Brussels; Museo Nacional Centro de International Triennial of New Media Art 2014, Beijing, China; 19th Biennale of Sydney; International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia; Liverpool Biennale; 52nd and 53rd Venice Biennale.