Vicky Featherstone to Become New Artistic Director of London's Royal Court
By Mark Shenton
Vicky Featherstone, currently artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland and previously of Paines Plough, is to take over as artistic director of London's Royal Court. She will succeed Dominic Cooke after he steps down in April 2013.
In a press statement, she commented, "Under the brilliant leadership of Dominic Cooke the Royal Court Theatre has achieved phenomenal success and it is a great honour and privilege to be taking over from him as Artistic Director. Since I first became aware of the power of theatre to challenge and entertain, the Royal Court has been at the very forefront of my experience. Indeed my first foray into professional theatre was as Assistant Director on Martin Crimp's No one Sees The Video. In its tireless championing of the playwright as the centre of the creative process the Royal Court has created the environment for some of our greatest and bravest thinkers and talents to emerge. My entire understanding of and belief in theatre is predicated on the playwright. It is the playwrights who find story, form and structure in the most unlikely yet inspiring places and who breathe the life into ideas, thus demanding their urgent work be realised for an audience. These are challenging times. Now more than ever we need places where reflection, question and visceral experience can elevate the daily and the private and remind us of our humanity and universality. The Royal Court is that place."
Cooke added, "I couldn’t be happier with Vicky’s appointment and am really pleased to be able to hand over the company to such a brilliant and inspiring director. Vicky has an outstanding record of bold programming at Paines Plough and National Theatre of Scotland and I look forward to seeing where she takes the company next."
Featherstone will be the first female artistic director in the 56-year history of the English Stage Company who operate the Royal Court. It is where she began her career as an assistant director. She has been Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland since its foundation in 2006, touring work to venues large and small all around Scotland. One of her first commissions was the hit production Black Watch by Gregory Burke, directed by John Tiffany, which attracted international acclaim, winning multiple awards and touring all over the world. At the National Theatre of Scotland, her recent credits include Enquirer (co-directed with John Tiffany), Appointment with The Wicker Man by Greg Hemphill and Donald McLeary, 27 by Abi Morgan and The Wheel by Zinnie Harris. She also co-directed The Wolves In The Walls (Tramway, Lyric Hammersmith, UK tour and New Victory Theater, New York). Prior to running the National Theatre of Scotland, she was artistic director of Paines Plough, a new writing touring company from 1997 to 2005. She has also worked in television as drama executive for the BBC, Granada TV and Central TV. She created several original drama series, including "Where the Heart Is" and "Silent Witness."
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