Southwark Playhouse



UK Tour

Tom is a freelance theatre director, co-founder & Artistic Director of TREMers & currently Resident Director on 'Miss Saigon' which followed the West End Transfer of Chichester Festival Theatre & Cameron Mackintosh’s production of 'Half a Sixpence' at the Noel Coward Theatre, London directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.


Tom trained at Arts Ed London, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the National Theatre Studio. He was personally tutored in directing practice by Elen Bowman of Living Pictures.


Most recently Tom's production of 'Fabric' by Abi Zakarian won The Scotsman Fringe First Award and was chosen by Lyn Gardner as a Top Show To See in The Guardian at the Edinburgh Festival 2016. He also directed brand new site-specific comedy 'Foiled' which was a Pick of the Fringe in The Stage and also heard on BBC Radio 2.


"Beautifully-observed, skilfully-structured"

Fabric **** The Scotsman Link


"Wholly satisfying site-specific light comedy, tightly scripted

and perfectly cast" - Foiled ***** The Stage  Link


Following a successful run at Edinburgh Festival (2013) and two UK Tours 'Our Friends, The Enemy' directed by Tom transferred Off-Broadway to Theatre Row, 42nd Street in New York City in December 2015.


In London Tom has directed 'The Dogs of War' by Tim Foley (2015) which was Pick of The Week in The Stage and won the award for most promising playwright. In 2013, he directed the sell-out 21st anniversary production of ‘The Fastest Clock In The Universe’ by Philip Ridley at the Old Red Lion, London. The show was selected to be filmed for the V&A National Video Archive of Performance.




From 2013-2014 Tom was acting Artistic Director of The Company Music Theatre directing productions of 'How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying' and 'The Wedding Singer' managing teams of over sixty people at The Lowry, Salford.  


Tom has worked as a visiting director at Arts Ed, Mountview, Liverpool Theatre School and Birmingham Ormiston Academy and as a drama workshop facilitator for Royal & Derngate, Northampton, West End in Schools, Peploe Williams Academy & Stagecoach PLC.


Tom has worked as an associate and assistant director to Lisa Goldman, Caroline Leslie, Nikolai Foster & Nicola Samer.

"Director Tom O’Brien’s production is disturbingly, inescapably sexy. The darkly poetic language of Ridley’s script, woven with humour and lust, is mastered by O’Brien’s superb cast of five." *****