Prof John Wyver

Prof John Wyver

In parallel with his role as Professor of the Arts on Screen, John Wyver is a writer and media producer. He continues to run the independent media production company Illuminations which he co-founded in 1982, and from 2013-22 he was Director, Screen Productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

His work as a producer and director has been honoured with a BAFTA, an International Emmy and a Peabody Award. He has made numerous documentaries about the arts and about digital culture. He was Series Editor for the influential BBC2 series The Net (1993-97) which pioneered tie-ups between broadcasting and online systems, ad he was also Series Editor for Tx. (1993-98), an award-winning series of innovative arts documentaries.

John Wyver has produced a series of notable performance films for television, including Richard II (1997) with Fiona Shaw; Gloriana - A Film (1999), directed by Phyllida Lloyd; Macbeth (2000), with Antony Sher and Harriet Walter; Hamlet (2008), made with the Royal Shakespeare Company and with David Tennant as the prince; Macbeth (2009) with Patrick Stewart, directed by Rupert Goold; and the RSC's Julius Caesar (2012), directed by Gregory Doran. 

In 2013 he produced the RSC's first live-to-cinema broadcast, which brought Gregory Doran's production of Richard II with David Tennant to more than 370 UK cinemas and which was also seen in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Russia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Over the past eight years he has produced 30 further 'event cinema' presentations of RSC stage productions, in addition to the 2016 'Shakespeare Live! From the RSC' celebration, co-produced with BBC Two. Other screen adaptations that he has produced include Clowns (2018) with Hofesh Shechter Company, and Mike Bartlett's Albion (2020) with Almeida Theatre. 

As writer and director he made two recent archive-based documentaries for Illuminations and BBC Four: Drama Out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play for Today (2020) and Coventry Cathedral: Building for a New Britain (2021).

He was Principal Investigator for the AHRC-funded research project Screen Plays (2011-15), and a volume of essays from this project, co-edited with Amanda Wrigley, will be published in 2022. His other writings include Vision On; Film Television and the Arts (Wallflower, 2007) and Screening the Royal Shakespeare Company: A Critical History (Bloomsbury, 2019). He is currently working on Magic Rays of Light, a cultural history of early television focussed on the years 1928-39, to be published by Bloomsbury at the end of 2025.

Current research interests:

  • Early television in Britain, 1928-1953
  • Theatre plays on British television
  • The history of the arts on television
  • Adaptation of stage performance for the screen
  • Television and film archive

  • Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media

In brief

Research areas

adaptation, Shakespeare on screen, television history, intermediality and arts on screen

Skills / expertise

media production

Supervision interests

early television, arts on screen and screen adaptations
Honorary Doctorate

De Montfort University