Sophie Hunter (born 16 March 1978) is an English avant-garde theatre and opera director, playwright, and former performer. She made her directorial debut in 2007 co-directing the experimental play The Terrific Electric at the Barbican Pit after her theatre company Boileroom was granted the Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award. In addition, she has directed an Off-Off-Broadway revival of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts (2010) at Access Theatre, the performance art titled Lucretia (2011) based on Benjamin Britten's opera The Rape of Lucretia at Location One's Abramovic Studio in New York City, and the Phantom Limb Company's 69° South also known as Shackleton Project (2011) which premièred at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey Theatre and later toured North America.
Hunter is the daughter of Anna Katharine (née Gow) and Charles Rupert. The couple later divorced. She has two younger brothers, Timothy, and Patrick as well as two half-siblings from her father's second marriage, Lily-Rose, and Samuel. She is a niece of pianist Julius Drake. Her maternal grandfather is the General Sir Michael James Gow GCB, who worked with Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester in the 1950s and was Aide-de-Camp General to the Queen from 1981 to 1984. Hunter's maternal great-great-grandfather was World War I politician J. E. B. Seely, 1st Baron Mottistone. She had a relationship with reknown sculptor Conrad Shawcross until 2010. She is has been married to Benedict Cumberbatch since 2015 and currently resides in North London with their two children, Hal, and Christopher.
Hunter attended St Paul's Girls' School in Hammersmith before studying Modern Languages with a concentration in French and Italian at Oxford University. After graduating from Oxford, Hunter resided in Paris to study avant-garde theatre for two years at the L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq. She then trained at the Saratoga International Theatre Institute in New York City under theatre and opera director Anne Bogart