Jonathan Best began working with Starving Artists in 2007 and directed Eat Me (Royal Exchange Studio, 2009), the fifteenth anniversary production of Road Movie (Manchester Library Theatre, Sheffield Crucible Studio, and UK tour, 2010), and Days of Light (Brewery Arts Kendal and Royal Exchange Studio, Manchester).
Music theatre and opera work includes a ten year collaboration with Richard Hickox and the City of London Sinfonia on a series of music-theatre productions including Amadeus (Barbican, London and UK tour), Much Ado About Nothing (City of London Festival) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Royal Shakespeare Company (Barbican + 5 UK tours). He staged two productions at the Bridewell Theatre, London including the first UK production of the Gershwin musical Of Thee I Sing, and spent periods on staff at English National Opera, Opera North, Royal Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He was Associate Director to Trevor Nunn on the National Theatre’s award winning Oklahoma! which transferred to both the West End and Broadway.
Jonathan was Artistic Director of Queer Up North International Festival between 2006 and 2009, commissioning, producing and presenting new performance by artists from all over the world including Taylor Mac, Justin Bond, Sandra Bernhard, Stephen Petronio Company, Chris Goode, Ursula Martinez, Quarantine, and South African enfant terrible Stephen Cohen. Under his leadership QUN established its groundbreaking young people’s programme, Blaze, and commissioned and produced the UK’s first theatre and education project addressing the subject of homophobic bullying, Fit, by Ricky Beadle Blair, which has now been seen by over 100,000 teenagers in schools across the UK.
Jonathan is also Creative Director of Ordinary Culture CIC, an arts production company based in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. Ordinary Culture works mostly in Yorkshire and the North of England curating and producing music, theatre, and arts festivals. Current projects include Holmfirth Arts Festival‘s programme of new commissions, a new piece of music theatre created with the poet Ian McMillan and composer Luke Carver Goss, and a series of theatre and brass band commissions.