Roland formed the company Giant Steps to present an exciting range of progressive work. The first
production was 'Enduring Freedom' by Anders Lustgarten about the personal and political legacy
of 9/11. It premiered at the Finborough Theatre in August 2008.
In September 2013 Giant Steps produced 'Where The Shot Rabbits Lay' by Brad Birch. The play
explored the relationship between a father and son after a fractious divorce and was presented
at The White Bear Theatre.
Redgrave Theatre (1994 - 1995)
At the Redgrave Theatre Farnham, Roland gave the theatre a more distinct profile. He produced a
range of well written high quality classics and directed ‘The Playboy of the Western World’ by
J.M. Synge and ‘George Dandin’ by Moliere.
Lyric Theatre, Belfast (1988 - 1991)
At the Lyric Roland’s progressive policy of international drama from an Irish perspective
broadened the repertoire. He produced not only four new Irish plays by Robin Glendinning,
Christina Reid, John McClelland and Robert Ellison, but also bold revivals like ‘Over the
Bridge’, Sam Thompson’s powerful anti sectarian drama set in the Belfast shipyards and initiated
the UK premiere of the ‘glasnost’ play ‘Threshold’ by Alexei Dudarev.
During his tenure, he directed a series of American plays: ‘After The Fall’ by Arthur Miller (the
first revival for 40 years in the UK), ‘The Iceman Cometh’ by Eugene O’Neill and ‘Cat on a Hot
Tin Roof’ by Tennessee Williams.
The Group (1983 - 1984) / Live Theatre (1984 - 1985)
During the 80's Roland and Tim Woodward were Co-Artistic Directors of The Group, which presented
a series of European and American plays at fringe venues in London. They included: ‘Naked’,
Luigi Pirandello’s play about a woman exploited by the various people in her life, ’30 Pieces Of
Silver’, Howard Fast’s play about the effects of McCarthyism on a US family and ‘Hinkemann’,
Ernst Toller’s expressionist drama about a soldier shattered by fighting in World War 1, with
Ray Winstone in the title role.
For Live Theatre, Roland’s work included the UK premiere of Graham Reid’s ‘The Death of Humpty
Dumpty’ about a paraplegic victim of ‘the troubles’ and a play by Barry Hines’ of ‘Kes’ fame,
about different generations of coal miners, ‘Billy’s Last Stand’.
Green Fields and Far Away (1977 - 1981)
Roland founded the company that toured fourteen productions in the UK with Irish and Irish
related work, usually with two plays - a repertoire of a classic by Synge, O’Casey, Behan or
Farquhar and a new play. The new writers included Desmond Hogan (‘The Ikon Maker’ about a young
man’s rites of passage in rural Ireland), Leigh Jackson ('A Flag Unfurled’ about Erskine
Childers, English MP/writer turned Irish patriot) and Ian McPherson (Jack Doyle - The Man Who
Boxed Like John McCormack!’ about the celebrated Irish boxer, who married Mexican beauty Movita,
Brando’s ex, and ended down and out in Notting Hill Gate). The latter played at The Lyric
Hammersmith during the A Sense Of Ireland Festival 1981.
Abbey Theatre, Dublin (1971 - 1973)
During the 1970's Roland one of the few English theatre directors to be a resident Director at
The Abbey Theatre Dublin. His productions included Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s classic comedy
‘The School for Scandal’ and ‘Hatchet’ by Heno Magee, a play about violence in working class
Dublin, which he later directed in London with Colm Meaney in the title role. He also directed
Michel de Ghelerode’s drama about death and power ‘Escurial’, Fernando Arrabal’s anti war
‘Picnic On The Battlefield’ and Conor Cruise O’Brien’s dramatic debate about political violence
-‘ King Herod Advises’.
Associate Director, The Welsh Drama Company (1974)
Roland produced a season at The Sherman Theatre Cardiff which included his productions of
Strindberg’s ‘Miss Julie’, Arrabal’s absurdist version of the death of Christ ‘The Car Cemetery’
and Brecht’s parable of exploitation ‘The Exception and The Rule'.
Assistant Director, The Royal Court Theatre (1969)
He assisted the distinguished theatre and film director, Lindsay Anderson, on David Storey’s play
about work, ‘The Contractor’.