Rose English

Year of birth


Country of residence


Country of origin




Rose English has been writing, directing and performing her own work for over thirty five years in venues as various as Tate Britain; Royal Court; Queen Elizabeth Hall; the Adelaide Festival and Lincoln Center, New York. Her productions feature a diversity of co-performers including musicians, dancers, circus performers, magicians and horses.

Rose’s shows range from her site-specific collaborations of the 1970’s including Berlin and Rabies, her acclaimed solos of the 1980’s including Plato’s Chair and The Beloved to her large scale spectaculars of the 1990’s including Walks on Water, The Double Weddingand Tantamount Esperance. Her internationally celebrated solo with a horse – My Mathematics – was produced by Michael Morris’s Cultural Industry and a series of vignettes with horses were presented by The Banff Centre, Canada and The Serpentine Gallery, London. The Long Time Ago Story – a collaboration with composer David Sawer was commissioned for BBC Radio 4 in 2003. Ornamental Happiness – a show in song and circus opened the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2006 followed by Flagrant Wisdom commissioned by National Glass Centre in 2009.

Rose’s performance works of the 1970’s featured in the exhibition WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and toured museums in the USA and Canada in 2009. Her installation STORYBOARD, commissioned by National Glass Centre featured in Interloqui – a group exhibition at Caterina Tognon Arte Contemporanea, Venezia to coincide with the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011.

Rose co-wrote and designed the feature film The Gold Diggers directed by Sally Potter in 1983; digitally remastered and released on BFI DVD in 2009. Rose’s work with dance includes choreographing Ariadne auf Naxos at the Munich Staatsoper, directed by Tim Albery and her collaborations with choreographer Matthew Hawkins, including Angels and Exiles at the Royal Opera House. As an actress Rose has appeared in a wide range of theatre, film and television productions, working with directors including Richard Jones, Sally Potter and Nick Philippou. Her awards include the Time Out Performance Award, the Wingate Scholarship and the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists.

Audio interview