RSC appoints Gregory Doran as new Artistic Director

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RSC Chairman, Nigel Hugill, announced today that the RSC Board has appointed Chief Associate Director, Gregory Doran, to succeed Michael Boyd as Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He will take up the post formally after the Annual General Meeting of the Company in September 2012.

Nigel Hugill said:
'Greg Doran is a perfect choice for the RSC and is well known to all our audiences. His long history with the Company is testament to his great skill as a director, his deep understanding of Shakespeare and a true commitment to theatre-making. He has directed many award-winning productions and seasons at the RSC, and taken our work right across the world, receiving recognition for his talent as far afield as the US, Japan, Spain and South Africa, as well as in the UK. He has championed the classical repertoire and new work alongside Shakespeare, and has been a long-time collaborator with many RSC artists. As well as directing theatre, he has led the way in experimenting with capturing theatre on film and has written extensively about Shakespeare.

'We had a strong field of candidates from which to choose, but it was absolutely clear that Greg brings a real passion and vision for the future of the Company, as well as providing the continuity to build on the considerable achievements of Michael Boyd. I am absolutely delighted that he has accepted the challenge to lead the RSC forward into its next decade.'

Gregory Doran said:
'I am delighted to be appointed as Artistic Director of this great company. I joined the RSC 25 years ago, first as an actor, then as assistant director and then Chief Associate, so I guess if my appointment represents something, it represents a long term commitment to the disciplines and craftsmanship required to do the astonishing plays of our 'Star of Poets', William Shakespeare.

'Michael Boyd and Vikki Heywood have done an exceptional job in the last decade, rebuilding the theatre and reasserting the principles of ensemble and collaboration, which I hope to continue and extend. My first task is to assemble an exciting new artistic team, with whom I shall start planning the Company's future from 2014.'

Commenting on the appointment, Michael Boyd said:
'This is fantastic news and I'm very pleased to be leaving the Company in such good hands. I know this is a choice which will be wholeheartedly welcomed by our staff, artists and audiences. I have been fortunate to work with Greg as an Associate Director throughout my leadership of the RSC. He is a first rate director, and nobody knows and loves the company more than him. I will be programming work for 2013 over the course of the summer, in order to allow him breathing space to plan for the future. I wish him every good fortune in a role which I have been lucky enough to undertake over the last decade.'

Vikki Heywood, Executive Director, said:
'Having worked with Greg as Chief Associate Director for the past ten years, I am delighted that he is to be the next Artistic Director for the RSC. I am looking forward to working with Greg over the coming months to plan a terrific future for the Company, which I know will delight audiences, artists and supporters.'

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said:
'Greg is an excellent choice to lead the RSC forward artistically, building on the great work of Michael Boyd.

'He is popular with artists and audiences alike and I look forward to seeing more of Greg's work during the World Shakespeare Festival this year as part of the Cultural Olympiad and in his first season for the RSC in 2014.'

The Artistic Director role was publicly advertised late last year, following Michael Boyd and Vikki Heywood's announcement in September 2011 that they intended to step down at the end of 2012.

Nigel Hugill led the selection panel for the recruitment, which included RSC Deputy Chairman, Lady Sainsbury of Turville CBE and Board members, Gilla Harris, Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall and David Tennant. Sir Richard Eyre acted as External Adviser and the selection process involved extensive consultation, including discussions with actors, directors, designers and current RSC staff. The RSC's Board and Arts Council England have approved the appointment. The recruitment process for the new Executive Director role is ongoing with an announcement expected in April.

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Media enquiries

Liz Thompson, Director of Communications
Liz.thompson@rsc.org.uk
Tel: 01789 412667 or 07717 297 181

Nada Zakula, Senior Press Officer
Nada.zakula@rsc.org.uk  
Tel: 01789 412622 or 07831 766086

Dean Asker, Press Officer
Dean.asker@rsc.org.uk  
Tel: 01789 412660 or 0778 9937759

Images of Gregory Doran and past productions are available on request from the RSC Press Office or www.epo-online.com

Notes to editors

Biography of Gregory Doran
Gregory Doran directs Julius Caesar for the World Shakespeare Festival and The Orphan of Zhao in 2012. His most recent RSC productions include: Written on the Heart, Cardenio, Morte d'Arthur, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Love's Labour's Lost. Other productions for the Company in the UK and internationally include: Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, All's Well That Ends Well, The Taming of the Shrew (and The Tamer Tamed), Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter's Tale, Othello, Merry Wives The Musical, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, King John, Timon of Athens, All Is True (Henry VIII), Venus and Adonis (in collaboration with The Little Angel Theatre), Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, Oroonoko by Biyi Bandele (after Aphra Behn), The Odyssey adapted by Derek Walcott, Jubilee by Peter Barnes, and The Canterbury Tales in an adaptation by Mike Poulton.

In 2002, Greg led a season of five seldom-performed Jacobean and Elizabethan plays and directed The Island Princess by John Fletcher. Greg and the Company enjoyed a sell out season at The Swan Theatre and a run at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End, and received an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement of the Year. In 2005 he led the Gunpowder season in the Swan, directing Ben Jonson's Sejanus in this season of neglected Jacobean works.

His production of Hamlet, with David Tennant in the title role, won The Whatsonstage Best Regional Production and Theatre Event of the Year in 2009.

Elsewhere, his productions include: Anjin: The English Samurai by Mike Poulton and Shochiro Kawaii ( Tokyo 2009), The Merchant of Venice (Tokyo 2007), York Millennium Mystery Plays (York Minster), Black Comedy and The Real Inspector Hound (Donmar Warehouse Productions – Comedy Theatre), The Giant by Antony Sher (Hampstead Theatre), Mahler's Conversion by Ronald Harwood (Aldwych Theatre), Titus Andronicus (Market Theatre Johannesburg and RNT Studio – TMA Award for Best Production), Twelfth Night, Ulysses (in Dermot Bolger's adaptation, Philadelphia), A Midsummer Night's Dream (NY State University), The Joker of Seville (Walcott/McDermott musical, Boston/Trinidad), Edward Bond's September (Canterbury Cathedral), Someone to Watch Over Me (Theatr Clwyd), Two Dogs and Freedom (Sadlers Wells and Channel 4). As Artistic Director of Century Theatre: The Importance of Being Earnest, Bedroom Farce, An Inspector Calls, Private Lives. As Associate Director of Nottingham Playhouse: Long Day's Journey Into Night, Waiting For Godot, The Norman Conquests, Hester, The Rose and The Ring.

His filmed version of Hamlet (BBC2/Illuminations) was broadcast in the UK on Boxing Day 2009 and in the US on PBS. His other film work includes: Macbeth (Channel 4 / Illuminations) and A Midsummer Night's Dreaming (BBC4 documentary based on research for his own production); and he directed extracts from various Shakespeare plays for Michael Wood's BBC series, 'In Search of Shakespeare'. Illuminations will also film his World Shakespeare Festival production of Julius Caesar, which will be broadcast on BBC4 as part of the BBC's Shakespeare season for the Cultural Olympiad.

With the British Library, Greg compiled two highly successful CDs of extracts from live recordings of great performances from Stratford since the late fifties: Essential Shakespeare LIVE!, and Essential Shakespeare ENCORE!

His writing credits include Woza Shakespeare! co-authored with Antony Sher about their production of Titus Andronicus in South Africa in 1995, The Shakespeare Almanac in 2009, and Shakespeare's Lost Play: In search of Cardenio in 2011.

Greg began his career with the RSC as an actor in the 1987-88 season, becoming an Assistant Director in 1989. He was made an Associate Director in 1996, and became Chief Associate Director in 2006. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and in 2011 was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol.

RSC Milestones

  • 1564-1616 William Shakespeare born and died in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • 1769 David Garrick staged the first theatre festival in Stratford
  • 1879 Local philanthropist Charles Flower builds the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford
  • 1925 Royal Charter given
  • 1926 Fire destroys auditorium and stage
  • 1932 New Shakespeare Memorial Theatre opens
  • 1960 Peter Hall becomes Artistic Director
  • 1961 Company named Royal Shakespeare Company
  • 1968 Trevor Nunn becomes Artistic Director
  • 1974 The Other Place created from a tin hut
  • 1977 The Warehouse created in London
  • 1977 Annual Newcastle Residency begins
  • 1978 Annual UK Mobile Theatre tour begins
  • 1978 Terry Hands joins Trevor Nunn as Artistic Director
  • 1982 RSC London operations move to the Barbican
  • 1986 Terry Hands becomes sole Artistic Director
  • 1986 Swan Theatre opens
  • 1987 Annual UK national tours start
  • 1991 Adrian Noble becomes Artistic Director
  • 1991 New purpose-built The Other Place opens
  • 2001 RSC America launched
  • 2002 RSC leaves the Barbican
  • 2002 Michael Boyd becomes Artistic Director
  • 2003 Vikki Heywood becomes Executive Director
  • 2004 Spanish Golden Age season
  • 2006 First schools join RSC Learning and Performance Network
  • 2006 temporary Courtyard Theatre opens
  • 2006/7 Complete Works Festival in Stratford
  • 2006/8 Shakespeare's Histories cycle plays in Stratford and Roundhouse
  • 2008 First Young People's Shakespeare production
  • 2010 Transformed Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres reopen
  • 2011 RSC 50th birthday season
  • 2011 New York residency, presented by Lincoln Center Festival and Park Avenue Armory, in association with The Ohio State University
  • 2012 World Shakespeare Festival, produced by the RSC

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