LONDON -- Theater director Steven Pimlott, whose credits ranged from Shakespeare to "Bombay Dreams," died Wednesday at his home near Colchester, east of London, his agent, Harriet Cruickshank, said yesterday. Mr. Pimlott was 52 and had lung cancer.
Educated at Cambridge University, Mr. Pimlott began his career with the English National Opera and Opera North before becoming an associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1996 to 2002.
He also directed West End musicals, including "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the London Palladium and "Bombay Dreams" in London and on Broadway.
For three seasons, from 2002 to 2005, he was artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre in southern England.
Last month, Mr. Pimlott was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama.
Until days before his death, Mr. Pimlott had been working on a production of Tennessee Williams's "The Rose Tattoo" that is due to open at the National Theatre in London next month.
Friend Nicholas Hytner, the National's artistic director, will take over the show.
Hytner said Mr. Pimlott "had the greatest appetite for life of anyone I've ever known."
Michael Boyd, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said Mr. Pimlott was "inspirational, challenging, enormously entertaining, and a good friend."
"His style ranged from extravagant flamboyance to high European elegance to stripped-down purity," Boyd said. "His storytelling was always blazingly clear, intelligent, and human."
Mr. Pimlott leaves his wife, opera singer Daniela Bechly, and three children.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.