Director / Filmmaker / Speaker
Pilot Theatre from 1993 to 2016. He directed work across in the UK, throughout Europe and in Argentina. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
He is currently acting Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, where he has recently directed Pride and Prejudice, Peter Pan and will direct Shirley Valentine and Big Skies in 2020
He was an Associate Artist at Theatre Royal Stratford East from 2016 - 2018. He has also been an Associate Artist for Harrogate Theatre since September 2017
In 2018 Marcus directed for National Theatre Wales, where he developed part of their project, NHS70
In 2019 Marcus directed 'Let the Right One In' for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and 'Justice 39' for the People Power Passion project with Revoluton Arts
He is a published playwright. Marcus wrote the screenplay for The Knife That Killed Me (2014) from the novel by Anthony McGowan. He co-directed the film for Universal Pictures.
Marcus has collected three Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards for his productions of Lord of the Flies and Beautiful Thing. Marcus' adaptation of Looking for JJ won a TMA award for best production for young people.
Marcus is a TEDster, class of 2007 / 2011 / 2013. Participating in the conferences encouraged him to set up the annual conference to discuss technology and the arts, 'Shift Happens'. He has also hosted the TEDxYork conference.
Marcus has also worked as an actor and has appeared in several long running series and TV films - including Prime Suspect, Dalziel and Pascoe, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Hillsborough and The Bill.
The WorksMarcus co-produced 'The Works' starring Ralph Fiennes, Antonia Thomas and Sharon D Clarke. This was the debut film by Elliot Barnes-Worrell.
The Knife That Killed Me
Marcus wrote the screenplay for the film, adapting the book by Anthony McGowan. He co-directed the film with Kit Monkman.
The Knife That Killed Me was released by Universal Pictures.
It was ranked #10 in the Top Thirty Films of the Year (2014) by the Huffington Post.
"...like a hi-tech version of Lars von Trier's Dogville" The Guardian
"Easily one of the best films of the year" Huffington Post
"Alive with visual intention" Empire
"an experimental British drama... with a densely intensive visual verve." The Times
Marcus is currently acting Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. He was an Associate Artist at Theatre Royal Stratford East from 2016 - 2018. He was also a Producer for Collusion, Harrogate Theatre, and a director for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. . Marcus was Artistic Director at the award-winning National Touring Theatre Company Pilot Theatre from 1993 to 2016. He has directed work across in the UK, throughout Europe, and in Argentina, including national touring productions of: Antigone, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Beautiful Thing, Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads, Looking for JJ, Road, The Fever Chart, Bloodtide, and Rumble Fish.
In 2018 Marcus developed and directed ‘As Long As The Heart Beats’ for National Theatre Wales, as part of their NHS 70 project. He also developed the first Active Reality project ‘Reveal’ with Simon Poulter for Collusion.
Pride and Prejudice:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good production of Pride & Prejudice must capture not only the elegance and era of Jane Austen, but also the intelligence and wit. Director Marcus Romer and his talented cast have managed to do all of that and more in the clever new adaptation." East Anglia Daily Times
Let The Right One In
"It's only mid-February but we may already have a show of the year on our hands with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School's exquisite production of Let The Right One In. Brutal, terrifying and tender, Marcus Romer's production catches all the winter chill of its Nordic setting, its gothic horror gradually intensifying as its young protagonists Oskar and Eli discover common ground in a small little town where a spate of murders leaves everyone on edge." The Bristol Post *****
As Long as the Heart Beats:
"If there is one stand-out message from National Theatre Wales’ NHS70 programme, it’s the fact that the institution thrives because of the people who keep it moving. Examples of this are given through the five one-act plays commissioned for the season, but it is this promenade production that really drives the point home. Borne out of real experiences people have shared, As Long as the Heart Beats is a beautifully captured snapshot of life inside an NHS hospital, and the people responsible for making it so." Wales Arts Review
"The 90 minutes of the single-act play gallop along towards the tragic finale. A young audience absolutely lapped it up." The Independent ****
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
"Flawlessly directed by Marcus Romer and stylishly designed by Lydia Denno, the discussion this show will provoke will run and run" The Observer
Sing yer heart out for the lads
"...the production seems to have everything: pace, precision, power. The result is sensational" The Guardian ****
Looking For JJ
"This is a genuinely important piece of theatre, every bit as thoughtful and demanding as its audience deserves" The Times
Lord of the Flies
"William Golding meets Quentin Tarantino" The Financial Times
"engaging, sensitive and it does your old heart good" Yorkshire Post
"The show generates the kind of rapt attention in which you could hear a pin drop." The Guardian
"Superlative acting and a dynamic, inventive production by Marcus Romer that splices film footage and suitably atmospheric music into the action." The Evening Standard
Consultant / Cultural LeaderMarcus has become a mainstay for arts organisations seeking to improve the way in which they approach technology. He has spoken at conferences in Venice, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Palm Springs, London, and across the UK. He has delivered projects and business and cultural development projects for Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Kettle’s Yard, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Theatre Peckham, Theatre Royal Stratford East.
2007 attended TED in California
2008 - 2013 created Shift Happens, a celebration of innovation and a forum for discussion for arts organisations across the UK. Speakers have included Ken Robinson, Clay Shirky, Howard Rheingold
2011 Hosted TedxYork
2014 Co-curated and hosted No Boundaries for Arts Council England and the British Council
2015 Co-hosted No Boundaries 2015
2016 Innovation Norway, conference in Tromsø, Norway
2016 Arctic Moving Image Film Festival, Harstadt, Norway
2017 European Theatre Convention, Karlsruhe, Germany
2017 UK Theatre Touring Symposium, London
2018 Mainframe Derby
2018 With Collusion in Cambridge Marcus produced projects in King's Lynn and Bury St Edmunds. This included developing and creating 'Reveal' with Simon Poulter.
2019 Harstad Residency in Norway developing a new green screen project
To find out about working with Marcus as a speaker, contact him here.
Projects and InnovationThrough Pilot Theatre, and as a freelancer, Marcus has led many high profile arts events across the country:
The Great Exhibition of the North Marcus was on the bid writing team for The Great Exhibition of the North for Harrogate, and presented the bid for Bradford
HOME Created and delivered a new digital strategy for HOME in Manchester
ACE and Norwich City Council A research study for St. Andrews Halls in Norwich
Creative England Creative Director for the Eagle Lab Flight Programme in partnership with Barclays UK
International Indian Film Academy Awards Marcus and KMA created the opening event in 2007 at Sheffield Arena, for a live audience of 15,000 and a TV audience of 500 million
UNESCO Was part of the team that placed the winning bid to make York the UNESCO-designated 'City of Media Arts'
Tour De France Organised the Cycle of Songs with HistoryWorksUK: the opening event of the Cambridge leg of the Tour de France 2014. The event featured a walking tour app that worked along the route of the race around the city with 9 originally commissioned songs geo-tagged to your location
Immersive Theatre Worked with SlungLow in August 2013 to produce Blood and Chocolate (pictured above), a fully immersive theatre show with 200+ actors that worked via headsets for all audience members and a walking tour across the city of York
Conferences Created the Shift Happens conferences, leading to the No Boundaries events to connect the Arts with technology and to shift thinking
Livestreaming Executed the first ever multi-camera livestream of the York Mystery plays, which enabled viewers to choose from 6 camera angles and to curate their own viewing for the BBC and The Space
Produced Reasons to be Cheerful by Graeae for The Space as a live to digital cinema release in 2018
Produced Theatre Royal Stratford East Christmas shows into Barts Health Trust as a livestream 2016 and 2017 for The Space
Produced Harrogate Theatre Jack and the Beanstalk - livestream to Harrogate NHS Foundation Trust for The Space
For more information about Marcus' diverse portfolio, see his CV