National Theatre of Scotland Appoints Laurie Sansom as New Artistic Director
By Mark Shenton
The National Theatre of Scotland has appointed Laurie Sansom, currently artistic director of Northampton's Royal & Derngate, to succeed Vicky Featherstone to lead the peripatetic company.
Featherstone, who was the organization's first artistic director when it was launched in 2006, leaves in December 2012 to take up the artistic directorship of London's Royal Court. During her tenure, the National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating 186 productions in 156 different locations. It has no permanent base.
Sansom, who has been at the Royal & Derngate since 2006 (where he succeeded Rupert Goold), was previously Associate Director to Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where he developed and directed over 20 new plays between 2002 and 2006. Now 40, he is a graduate of Cambridge University. His productions at Northampton have included Spring Storm and Beyond the Horizon which both transferred to the National's Cottesloe. He has also directed Ryan Craig's The Holy Rosenbergs at the National.
In a press statement, Sansom has commented, "It is a thrilling challenge to lead the National Theatre of Scotland through the next stage of its development as it continues to champion new and innovative work in Scotland and beyond. The Company's unique 'theatre without walls' policy means it can continue to be truly responsive to artistic ambition and a diversity of voices. I am looking forward to working with the many artists, companies and venues producing ground-breaking work throughout the country, and confirming Scotland as the most exciting place to make and experience theatre in the U.K."
Richard Findlay, chairman of the company's board, adds, "I am thrilled that Laurie Sansom will become the second artistic director of our national theatre. The board was unanimous in its selection of Laurie from a strong field of candidates. The net was spread across the U.K. and overseas so we had a wide and highly-talented field to choose from. The National Theatre of Scotland has been a great success story for Scotland and Scottish theatre; in a very short time we have firmly established ourselves as a major force for pioneering and exciting work which we have taken to all corners of the country and across the world. The baton that Laurie receives from Vicky Featherstone is one that is richly endowed, giving him a superb opportunity to take the Company to new heights and achievements. He inherits a strong team to help him do that and I have little doubt that in his first full season he will surprise and delight us all."
For further details on the company, visit nationaltheatrescotland.com.
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