Joe’s directing career now spans nearly twenty years. In that time he has forged close associations with some of British theatre’s most significant voices, including Harold Pinter, David Hare, Trevor Nunn, Peter Hall, Ronald Harwood, Peter Ustinov and Bill Kenwright. He is in constant demand not only as a director, but also as a consultant on new writing projects and has directed the world premieres of several plays and musicals. His feel for period drama has led him to create the hugely commercially and critically successful Agatha Christie Theatre Company with Bill Kenwright, while at the other end of the spectrum he continues to champion new writing projects on the fringe.
Highlights of his career have been the world premiere of King James’ Ear, The Lover and The Collection, which he directed at The Donmar Warehouse starring their writer, Harold Pinter – “Joe Harmston directs this ice-cold gem of a play [The Collection] with immaculate precision. “Twenty-four carat theatre. Not to see these plays would be worse than a crime.” (John Peter – The Sunday Times.)
In spring 2012 he commissioned and directed a landmark re-interpretation of Strindberg’s The Father at the Belgrade in Coventry (where he is now Associate Creative Director). This garnered four star reviews including; ‘Joe Harmston’s production offers a tremendous evening.’ – Michael Billington, The Guardian; ‘Harmston’s gripping production has a startling modernity.’ – Claire Marlowe, The Times; and ‘My advice is to catch it before they ban it!’ – Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph.
Joe was nominated for ‘Best Director’ in the 2012 TMA Awards for his production of ‘The Father’ at the Belgrade Theatre.