English by birth, Mike Friend has worked in theatre and education all his professional life. He has an honours degree in Creative Arts and Drama and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education in Drama. In 1987 he founded the Performing Arts School at Hurtwood House in southern England and remained as its director until 2001.
He has worked on shows in London’s West End and for the Edinburgh Festival. He has directed projects in Ireland, Croatia and the Philippines. A commission to work on a ballet in Bangkok for the King of Thailand’s sister led eventually to Mike coming to Australia and then settling in New Zealand in 2004.
The creation of the Loons in 2006 fulfilled Mike’s long-held desire for an independent professional venue where he could put his training and philosophy into practice.
Mike’s most recent invitation has been to direct the East Riding Theatre’s inaugural production, A Christmas Carol in Beverley, England.
“I just have two rules in theatre. The first rule is safety. The second rule is danger. As long as it’s safe, think outside the square.” Mike Friend