About Helena

Born in Poland Helena trained at the Polish Academy of Theatre (PWST) in Warsaw and later at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She gained DIRECTOR'S DIPLOMA from both as well as M.Phil from University of Warsaw (Dept of Polish Literature and Slavonic Studies).Before training as a director Helena worked for eight years as a leading juvenile actress with the ER Kaminska Theatre in Warsaw, with which she toured internationally, appearing in Paris, Vienna and London where she later settled having married the British documentary film director Richard Howson.

After completing her training at RADA she worked as Assistant Director at the Royal Court Theatre , directed at Unity Theatre, Kings Head Theatre and at RADA. Between 1971 and 1973 she worked in Israel were she founded and ran the Jerusalem Community Theatre, taught at Tel Aviv University and directed at the Habimah National Theatre . In 1974 she returned with her husband and son to UK and resumed her work at RADA, of which she became an Associate in 1994 as well as teaching and directing at the London Academy of Dramatic Art (LAMDA). She directed her first Shakespeare productions at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton which together with her subsequent work in major regional theatres and in London established her rreputation for an original and innovatory approach to classics. She directed English as well international drama, introducing new work, often in her own translation in Britain and increasingly abroad, returning regularly to Ireland ,Israel, Canada ,the US and of late to her native Poland. She was the first director to direct the Irish classic -The Plough and the Stars at the Belfast Lyric, the first woman director to direct at the Birmingham Rep, and the first woman-guest director at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre.

From 1991 to 1995 Helena served as Artistic Director of Theatr Clwyd, in Wales. Her successful and adventurous policy raised the profile of that theatre to an international league and attracted many major artists including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Julie Christie, Kathryn Hunter, Timothy West, Janet Suzman, Maria Aitkeen and others. She won acclaim for her vision and awards for hel productions, several of which transferred to London. Her departure from Theatr Clwyd in the aftermath of local government re-organisation caused a landslide of protests , reverberating throughout the media and the national press. (for details see relevant links in 'Articles and Features')

After leaving Clwyd Helena was invited by BBC Wales to direct the inaugural production of Welsh National Theatre of the Air. The same year she returned to Opera North to direct a revival of one her highly successful opera productions there. In 1996 she began a fruitful professional relationship with the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre, where she directed several acclaimed productions, one of which was the award winning Hindle Wakes which became the victim of the IRA bombing in 1997 and which later reopened the newly restored theatre. She returns regularly to direct there. as well as developing new work with young actors and students of LAMDA, RADA (Helena's continued commitment to actor training extends also to the National theatre School of Canada , UC Davis and UCLA in USA and MMU School of Theatre).

ince 1996 several of her new projects have been generated through KP Productions an independent company of which she is an Associate. In 1998 she was appointed Artistic Director of the Scottish experimental company Theatre Archipelago which she ran briefly directing shows in Edinburgh and on tour. One of the remarkable strands of Helena's work in recent years has been artistic collaboration with Kathryn Hunter who starred in several of her acclaimed productions, most notably King Lear, The Devils, The Rose Tattoo and Yerma. This collaboration culminating in their work together on A Tender Thing for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Thriving free-lance career continues to take Helena to wide ranging venues from Edinburgh to Toronto, from Regents Park Theatre to the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake, from the Sadler's Wells to Arcola. Closest to her heart is her newly resumed connection with Poland where since 2002 she's been invited regularly to direct in major theatres in Warsaw, Krakow and the city of her childhood -Wroclaw.


Peter Brook Open Space Award, 1994 for the Outstanding Body of Work at Theatr Clwyd

Liverpool Post and Echo Arts Award, 1992 for the Best Director (The Devils)

TMA Regional theatre Awards, 1995 for Best Director ('The Rose Tattoo')

Contact International Festival, Toruń 1994 Critics Award – (‘Full Moon)

Manchester Evening News Award, 1996 for Best Production ('The Hindle Wakes')

Manchester Evening News Awards, 1997 for Best Production (Much Ado About Nothing')

Polish Festival of Premieres, Bydgoszcz 2004 - Grand Prix for Best Director ('Victory')

The Critic Award, 'Polish Section of ITI – for exeptional achievements in promoting Polish Culture abroad, Warsaw, April 2022

Television Productions

THE KEEP – television adaptation of H Thomas's drama ,BBC Wales , 1995 (director)

BREAKING THE MOLD – BBC Wales (60 min programme featuring H.Kaut-Howson's work at Theatr Clwyd)

TRIALS OF OZ – BBC Performance Series, dir S. Faulkstone , 1991 (actor)

BIAŁE KWIATY I CZARNE – art documentary on the 20th anniversary of the birth of Kamil Cyprian Norwid (directed for PUNO International Conference), 2021

Professional Experience in Administration/Management

Artistic Associate Director - KP Productions - since 1996

Artistic Director - Communicado (renamed Archipelago) Theatre Company 1998 -2000

Artistic Director - Theatr Clwyd, 1991-1995

Founder /,Director- Jerusalem Community Theatre, 1971 -1974

Founder/ Artistic Director - Polish Stage Company.UK , 2004 - to present day

Parallel with her professional career Helena pursues her commitment to the training of actors by regularly directing and teaching at National Theatre School of Canada, MMU, UC Davis, UCLA LAMDA and RADA where she is an Associate. (for details and directing credits see TEACHING)

Professional credits as a theatre and opera director

KING LEAR, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, 17 May 2022

ZONA by Maciej Wojtyszko, world premiere, Scena Polska at Ognisko Polskie, 1 April 2022

CHOCIAZ RAZ WARTO UMRZEC Z MILOSCI – musical based on the work and life of Agnieszka Osiecka, Polish Stage Company

POLISH SPECIALITIES - Cabaret, both written and directed for Polish Stage Company, 2018

FAITHFUL RUSLAN - THE STORY OF A GUARD DOG, based on the novel by Grigorij Vladimov, adapted and directed, KP Productions, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, 2017

THE LOWER DEPTHS by Maxim Gorky, Arcola Theatre, London 2017

ZEMSTA by Aleksander Fredro, Polish Stage.UK London, 2016

SANATORIUM UNDER THE SIGN OF THE HOUR GLASS based on the prose of Bruno Schulz, adapted and directed, Capitol Theatre, MMU, Manchester, 2015

CITY OF THE SAVED, by Mieczysława Wazacz, Teatr Polski, Wrocław, 2014

SONS WITHOUT FATHERS – HKH adaptation of Chekhov's PLATONOV, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry /Arcola Theatre, London, 2013

EXPLODING LEAR, (laboratory project with Kathryn Hunter) UCLA , Los Angeles, 2012

A TENDER THING, revival, Royal Shakespeare Company, The Swan, Stratford Upon Avon, 2012

UNCLE VANYA, Anton Chekhov, Belgrade Theatr, Coventry/Arcola Theatre, London, 2011

INNOCENCE, Dea Loher, Arcola, London, 2010

A TENDER THING, Ben Power, Royal Shakespeare Company, 2009

THE MISER – Moliere, Royal Exchange, Manchester, 2009

SPRING AWAKENING – Frank Wedekind, Teatr Powszechny, Warszawa, Poland, 2008

1UNSHULD – Dea Loher, Capitol Theatre, Manchester, 2008

KOANGA - Delius, Pegasus Opera, Sadlers Wells, London, 2007

DEMONS - Fyodor Dostoyevsky/Helena Kaut Howson, Linbury Studio, London, 2007

DIE FLEDERMAUS – Johann Strauss, Opera Wrocławska, Wrocław, Poland, 2007

YERMA - Federico Garcia Lorca/McGuiness, Arcola Theatre, London 2006

SANATORIUM UNDER THE SIGN OF THE HOURGLASS – Bruno Shulz/Helena Kaut-Howson, Davis, Ca. US, 2006

MEASURE FOR MEASURE – William Sheakespeare, Teatr Słowackiego, Kraków, Poland, 2006

VICTORY – Howard Davis/Helena Kaut-Howson, Teatr Współczesny, Wrocław, Poland 2004

YERMA – Federico Garcia Lorca, Pam Gems, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester 2003

MARRIAGE OF FIGARO – Pierre-Augustin Baumarchais, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester 2003

TAMING OF THE SHREW – William Shakespeare, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester 2002

MRS WARREN'S PROFESSION – George Bernard Shaw, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 2001

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING – William Shakespeare, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 2000

WEREWOLVES – Teresa Lubkiewicz/Helena Kaut-Howson, Archipelago at Traverse, Edinburgh and tour of Scotland, 1999

THE MASTER AND MARGARITA – Mighail Bulgakov/Helena Kaut-Howson, National Theatre Studio, London, 1998

SUMMERFOLK – Maxim Gorky/Johann Strauss, UCDavis, Ca. USA, 1998

MAJOR BARBARA – George Bernard Shaw, Shaw Festival Theatre, Niagara, Canada, 1998

KING LEAR – William Shakespeare, KP Productions, Tokyo Globe, Tokyo & Osaka, Japan, 1998

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL – William Shakespeare, Regents Park Theatre, London, 1997

KING LEAR – William Shakespeare, Haymarket Theatre, Leicester, 1997  – transferring to Young Vic Theatre, London (Young Vic KPP), 1997

HINDLE WAKES - Stanley Broughton, Revival for the reopening of the, Royal Exchange Theatre (after IRA bombing) Manchester 1998

SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH – Tennessee Williams, Haifa Municipal Theatre, Israel 1996

HINDLE WAKES – Stanley Broughton, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester 1996

THE DUENNA –  Roberto Gerhardt, premiere production Opera North, Leeds 1992, revival 1996

GOLDFADEN DREAM – Abraham Goldfaden /Jakub Rotbaum, Yidishpiel Theatre, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1995

JANE EYRE – West End transfer, The Playhouse, London 1994

FULL MOON – Caradog Pritchard /Helena Kaut-Howson, Young Vic Theatre and international Tour (KPP), 1995

A DOLL’S HOUSE –  Henrik Ibsen/Ingmar Bergman, Theatr Clwyd and Tour of Wales, 1992

MACBETH – William Shalespeare, Theatr Clwyd, 1994

THE ROSE TATTOO – Tennessee Williams, Theatr Clwyd, 1995

LA DUENA – Roberto Gerrhard, British Premiere, Opera North, Leeds

WEREWOLVES – Teresa Lubkiewicz/Helena Kaut-Howson, Irish Premiere, Druid Theatre Company, Galway, 1992

TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES – Thomas Hardy/Fay Weldon , West Yorkshire Playhouse ,1992

THE DEVILS – John Whiting, Theatr Clwyd, December 1991

MASKARADE – Carl Nielsen, revival, Opera North, Leeds, 1991

THE BEGGAR'S OPERA (1991 Remix) – John Gay/Sterling, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, 1991

MAN AND SUPERMAN – George Bernard Shaw, Citizen's Theatre, Glasgow, 1991

THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA – Federico Garcia Lorca, McGuinness, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, 1991

JANE EYRE – Charlotte Bronte/Fay Weldon, Irish Premiere, Gate Theatre, Dublin 1990

MASQUERADE – Carl Nielsen, British Premiere, Opera North, Leeds, 1990

JANE EYRE – Charlotte Bronte/Fay Weldon, Derby Playhouse, 1990

SPOKESONG –  Stuart Parker, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, 1989

A SMALL FAMILY BUSINESS – Alan Ayckbourn, Birmingham Rep, Birmingham, 1989

THE LITTLE FOXES – Lilian Hellman, Leeds Playhouse, Leeds, 1989

The PLOUGH AND THE STARS - Sean O'Casey , Lyric Theatre, Belfast 1988

JANE EYRE – Charlotte Bronte/Fay Weldon, Leeds Playhouse, 1988

VASSA – Maxim Gorky /Helena Kaut-Howson, Centaur Theatre, Montreal, Quebec, 1988

ANOTHER COUNTRY – Julian Mitchell, Leeds Playhouse, Leeds, 1987

WEREWOLVES – Teresa Lubkiewicz/Helena Kaut-Howson, Canadian premiere, Monument National, Montreal, 1987

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL – William Shakespeare, Haymarket Theatre, Leicester, 1987

REMEMBRANCE – Tony Graham, Cameri Theatre, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1986

The MARAT/SADE (full title :The Execution of Marat as performed by the Inmates of Charenton) – Peter Weiss, Leeds Playhouse, Leeds, 1986

VASSA – Maxim Gorky/Helena Kaut-Howson, Greenwich Theatre, London, 1985

THE OLD ONES – Arnold Wesker, Habimah National Theatre, Israel, 1985

AMADEUS – Peter Shaffer, Octagon Theatre, Bolton, 1984

TOP GIRLS – Caryl Churchill, Cameri Theatre, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1984

EXCEPTIONAL LEAVE TO REMAIN (scenario - Helena Kaut-Howson) POSK Theatre, Hammersmith, 1984

A DOLL'S HOUSE – Henrik Ibsen, Habimah National Theatre, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1984

ON FOOT – Sławomir Mrożek/Laskowski, Theatre International, POSK, Hammersmith, 1983

MINOR APOCALYPSE - Tadeusz Konwicki/Helena Kaut-Howson, POSK Theatre, Hammersmith, 1982

DUET FOR ONE  – Tom Kempinski, Horseshoe Theatre, Basingstoke, 1982

HENRY IV Part One – William Shakespeare, Octagon Theatre, Bolton, 1982

SUNSET – Isaac Babel/Helena Kaut-Howson, Oxford Playhouse and Half Moon Theatre, London, 1980

KORCZAK – Tamara Karen, POSK Theatre, London, 1979

WEREWOLVES - Teresa Lubkiewicz/Helena Kaut-Howson, British premiere, Theatrespace, 1978

HENRY V – William Shakespeare, Octagon Theatre, Bolton, 1978

DUSA FOSH STAS &VI – Pam Gems, Habimah National Theatre, Tel Aviv, Israel 1977

THE SPORT OF MY MAD MOTHER (punk rock opera) Round House, London, 1977

CATS PLAY, Istvan Orkeny, Habimah National Theatre, Tel Aviv, Israel 1974

NEXT - Terence Mc Nally, Zahal Theatre, Zavta and tour, Israel, 1974

ALPHA BETHA - Ed Whitehead, Zavta Theatre, Tel Aviv, Israel, 1973

BOESMAN & LENAA – Atol Fuggard, Habimah National Theatre, 1973

HAGOEL – Terson/Helena Kaut/Howson/Levy, JCT, Tzavta Theatre, Jerusalem, Israel, 1972

MARIO & THE MAGICIAN – Thomas Mann/Helena Kaut-Howson, Kings Head Theatre, London, 1971

DEMONSTRATION – David Caute, Unity theatre

STRIKE – Arnold Hinchliffe, Unity Theatre, London, 1969

© Helena Kaut-Howson 2021