Nikolai is Artistic Director at Curve, Leicester - one of the UK's most exciting regional theatres.
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, he grew up in North Yorkshire. Nikolai trained at Drama Centre London and at the Crucible, Sheffield.
Since taking up his post in January 2015, Nikolai has directed Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw (with Theatre Royal Bath), Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s Grease, Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (with Birmingham Rep), the Broadway musical Spring Awakening (with National Youth Music Theatre); Legally Blonde (& at Daegu International Festival, South Korea - Winner Best Musical), Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (& Haymarket Theatre, London & national tour), Roald Dahl’s The Witches, adapted by David Wood (with the Rose Theatre Kingston, Lyric Theatre Hong Kong, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds & on tour), Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Shakespeare’s Richard III, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good, a performance to celebrate the reveal of the tomb of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral and Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing (with Nottingham Playhouse & on tour).
Prior to joining Curve, Foster has directed acclaimed productions of the Broadway musical, Annie (West Yorkshire Playhouse & National Tour & West End); Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds); Howard Goodall & Melvyn Bragg’s The Hired Man (St. James Theatre, London); a brand new production of Calamity Jane, which he also adapted (Watermill Theatre, Newbury & National Tour); Brecht’s The Good Person of Sichuan (Mercury Theatre, Colchester); Sherlock Holmes - The Best Kept Secret by Mark Catley (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds); Shelagh Stephenson’s The Memory of Water (New Vic, Stoke & Stephen Joseph, Scarborough); the European premier of Morris Panych’s The Dishwashers (Birmingham Rep & National Tour); Sondheim / Furth musical Merrily We Roll Along (Clwyd Theatr Cymru); The Diary of Anne Frank (York Theatre Royal & The Touring Consortium); Shakespeare’s As You Like It (Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester) & Macbeth (Singapore Repertory Theatre, Fort Canning Park, Singapore).
Further work includes: the Bernstein/Laurents/Sondheim musical West Side Story (National Youth Music Theatre, Victoria Warehouse, Manchester); Kipling’s The Jungle Book adapted by Stuart Patterson & BB Cooper (Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow); Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach (Birmingham Old Rep & National Tour), adapted by David Wood, with original songs by Grant Olding; the Kander, Ebb & McNally musical play, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Arts Ed, London); a new adaptation of Dickens’ Great Expectations by Tanika Gupta (Palace Theatre Watford/ETT/National Tour); Flashdance (Shaftesbury Theatre, London), an original musical by Tom Hedley, Robbie Roth & Robert Cary; two major revivals of plays by Noel Coward: Hay Fever (Chichester Festival Theatre) & A Song At Twilight (Theatre Royal Windsor & National Tour); Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends (Oldham Coliseum & Harrogate Theatre); Bryony Lavery & Jason Carr’s A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep 2009 & West Yorkshire Playhouse 2010), Barry Hines’ Kes, adapted by Lawrence Till (Liverpool Playhouse & National Tour); David Essex’s All the Fun of the Fair (UK tours 2008/09 & 2010/12, also on film, released Autumn 2012); Dempsey and Rowe’s The Witches of Eastwick (National tour); Boucicault’s London Assurance (Watermill Theatre, Newbury & National Tour); Shaffer’s Amadeus (Crucible, Sheffield); a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart & Don Black’s Aspects of Love (National Tour & Nelson Mandela Theatre, South Africa); Orwell’s Animal Farm, Louise Page’s Salonika & Amanda Whittington's Bollywood Jane (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds); Johnson’s Dead Funny (Oldham Coliseum); Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mercury Theatre, Colchester); Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (Pegasus Opera & English Touring Opera - National Tour); the Sondheim/Weidman musical play Assassins (Crucible, Sheffield); Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings (Liverpool Playhouse); Steinbeck‘s Of Mice and Men (Mercury Theatre, Colchester); Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (Clwyd Theatr Cymru); Corneille’s The Liar - translated and adapted by Ranjit Bolt (Cochrane Theatre, London) & A Chorus Line (Crucible, Sheffield).