Marcus Romer

Director / Filmmaker / Speaker

Director / Filmmaker / Speaker

Marcus' work has spanned three decades in theatre, film, and public speaking. He has been the Artistic Director at award-winning National Touring Theatre Company Pilot Theatre for 20 years. He has directed work across in the UK, throughout Europe and in Argentina.

He is now the Creative Director of Artsbeacon.UK

He is a published playwright. Marcus most recently adapted the screenplay for The Knife That Killed Me (2014) from the novel by Anthony McGowan. He co-directed the film with Kit Monkman for Green Screen Productions and 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. His most recent show, Antigone, ran at Stratford East in 2015.

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 Works

Marcus was the co-producer on 'The Works' starring Ralph Fiennes, Antonia Thomas and Sharon D Clarke. A new film by Elliot Barnes-Worrell in April 2016, available for 6 months on BBC iPlayer.

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.

" 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

Official-Selection-RIFF-2014 nantes


Theatre Director

Marcus is currently working as a Digital Producer for Theatre Royal Stratford East on a part time consultancy basis

Marcus has been the Artistic Director at award-winning National Touring Theatre Company Pilot Theatre for 20 years. 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.

"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

Beautiful Thing
"engaging, sensitive and it does your old heart good" Yorkshire Post

Rumble Fish
"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 Leader

Marcus 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.

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

To find out about working with Marcus as a speaker, contact him here.


Projects and Innovation

Through 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 of the Bid writing team for The Great Exhibition of the North for Harrogate and was an adviser for the Bid for Bradford.

HOME He is also writing a new digital strategy for HOME in Manchester

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 (With the BBC and The Space)

For more information about Marcus' diverse portfolio, see his CV

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