RSC appoints Catherine Mallyon as new Executive Director

22 May 2012


RSC Chairman, Nigel Hugill, announced today that the RSC Board has appointed Catherine Mallyon to succeed Vikki Heywood as Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Currently Deputy Chief Executive at Southbank Centre, Catherine will take up her new post formally at the Annual General Meeting of the RSC on 14 September 2012, joining RSC Chief Associate Director, Gregory Doran, who will take over from Michael Boyd at the same time.

Nigel Hugill, RSC Chairman, said:
'Catherine brings considerable and varied experience to the RSC, spanning live theatre, large-scale arts organisational management and investment banking. Working alongside Greg Doran, I am confident that we have the right balance for the RSC to build upon its existing strong foundations.'

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director designate, said:
'I am greatly looking forward to working with Catherine. She brings huge experience with her from Southbank Centre, which will be invaluable to the organisation as we move forward.'

Catherine Mallyon said:
'It is a great honour to take up this appointment and I join with enthusiasm and longstanding respect and affection for the RSC. I look forward very much to working closely with Greg and the whole RSC team to build on the company's many achievements. These are successful and exciting times for the RSC and I will work to sustain and develop the Company's excellence at home in Stratford-upon-Avon, regionally, nationally and internationally.'

Michael Boyd, RSC Artistic Director, said:
'The RSC Board has made another excellent choice and I am very confident that the Company will be in safe hands with this great new team.'

Vikki Heywood, RSC Executive Director, said:
'I am very pleased indeed to be handing on my role to Catherine. I have thoroughly enjoyed my last nine years as RSC Executive Director and, although sad to go, I am delighted to be able to leave the company in such talented hands. She will have a great team to work with and I know the Company and its collaborators and supporters will welcome her just as warmly as they welcomed me.'

Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said:
'Vikki Heywood is a tough act to follow but the extensive experience Catherine brings with her from the complex environment of Southbank Centre will, I'm sure, stand her in good stead for this challenging and important role. I look forward to working with Catherine in the months and years ahead.'


Media enquiries

Liz Thompson, Director of Communications  
Tel: 01789 412667 or 07717 297 181

Philippa Harland, Head of Press  
Tel: 0207 845 0512 or 07887 837 900

Jane Ellis, Communications Manager  
Tel: 01789 412 668 or 07966 295032


Images of Catherine Mallyon are available on request from the RSC Press Office or



1. Recruitment panel
The recruitment panel included the RSC's Chairman, Nigel Hugill, Deputy Chairman, Lady Sainsbury of Turville CBE, and Board Members, Damon Buffini, Gilla Harris and Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall. Sir Richard Eyre acted as External Adviser.

2. Biography of Catherine Mallyon
Catherine Mallyon is currently Deputy Chief Executive of Southbank Centre, the largest single-run arts centre in the world. Each year, 22 million people visit the 21 acre site, which includes Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, and has an operating income of £40m.

Catherine has led all Southbank Centre operational activity since 2005. Her major projects in that time include reopening Royal Festival Hall after refurbishment in 2007 and the renewal of Hayward Gallery in 2010.

In her previous career in arts management, Catherine was Head of Arts and Theatres at Reading Borough Council. There she managed all theatre and arts operations, programmed drama and classical music for the Hexagon and Concert Hall, and co-produced the WOMAD festival. Prior to that, she was General Manager at Oxford Playhouse, including the Burton Taylor Studio Theatre. She is now a Board Trustee of the Playhouse.
Catherine trained in general arts administration on Arts Council England's bursary programme, after five years in the City as a trader and analyst.

She plays violin and viola regularly with the Oxford Sinfonia.

The RSC AGM takes place on 14 September 2012 at 2.30pm at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Photograph of Catherine Mallyon by John Bellars.

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