Dominic Cooke, CBE
Dominic Cooke was born in Wimbledon; his father was a film editor and his mother, who once dreamt of being an actress, worked as a nurse. Educated at a state school, Cooke made frequent trips to the theatre in his youth, taking advantage of the free tickets provided by the Inner London Education Authority. After studying at Warwick University he decided he wanted to work in television and took a job as a runner. He soon decided television wasn’t for him, and so set up his first theatre company, Pan Optic. Cooke went on to work at the RSC and the Royal Court, winning the Olivier Award for Best Director in 2007. After seven years as artistic director at the Royal Court he left the theatre last year, after guiding it through one of its most successful periods.