James Baker

James Baker CV & Biog

James is a theatre director specialising in musicals. He has an eye for the new and unique and promotes all things ‘regional’. Proudly, he started his career as a self-titled D.I.Y director which gave James an abundance of skills that have makes him a versatile and exciting director. James then went onto further his training in Theatre Direction at East 15. He is based in Manchester and is fast becoming known as one of the regions most exciting emergent directors. He’s best known for making theatre that packs heart and he isn’t shy of unconventional approaches to directing musicals. He has a love for anything ‘honest’ which tells a good story. As part of his development James has been an observing director at The Royal Exchange Theatre on Matthew Xia’s production of Into The Woods (2015).


James was Artistic Director of the King’s Arm’s Theatre in 2013-2015 where his love and ambition for making Manchester’s fringe theatre scene thrive began. While at The King’s Arms, he directed The Last Five Years (2014) and Spring Awakening (2013) both which achieved multiple 5-star success by critics, Little Shop of Horrors (2013) nominated for Best Fringe Productions at the Manchester Theatre Awards and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (2015) which won Best Fringe Production at The Manchester Theatre Awards.


Most recently James has Directed and Co-Produced (with Aria Entertainment and The Hope Mill Theatre) a month’s run of ParadeThe Musical (2016) to national acclaim. It was announced that the show would extend due to audience demand and the popularity the production gained nationwide. He then went onto direct the award-nominated London transfer of Yank! The Musical at The Charing Cross.

James has also lectured at leading drama schools around the UK for ten years.