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The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) today announces the appointment by the Board of Trustees of Vicky Cheetham and Sandeep Mahal as Interim Co-Executive Directors. The news follows the announcement that Catherine Mallyon will step down as Executive Director on 22 December after eleven years in post. Sandeep and Vicky are currently members of the Senior Leadership Team and will take up the post from 23 December, whilst the recruitment process for the permanent Executive Director continues.

Co-Artistic Directors, Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey said,

“We’re delighted to be working with Vicky and Sandeep as we look ahead to the RSC's next chapter. Both have vast leadership experience as well as a proven track record of innovation. Their existing knowledge of the RSC and practical experience of navigating cultural change makes them ideal collaborators for this moment in the Company’s evolution. It’s a brilliant appointment by the Board and we're thrilled to be working in partnership with them."

Vicky Cheetham joined the RSC in January 2023 as Executive Advisor. Vicky’s previous roles include Managing Director of Tate, with responsibility for business management, innovation, enterprise and governance. Prior to this, Vicky was Executive Director, Arts, at London’s Southbank Centre where she oversaw the strategy and delivery of the artistic programme across multiple art forms and sites, having previously been Director of Producing and Presentation. Vicky has also held a range of roles at the Barbican including as Executive Producer of their international multi-genre music programme.

Sandeep Mahal joined the RSC’s Senior Leadership Team as Leadership Associate (Executive) in January 2022. She combined this work with her role as Director of Sector Change at People Make it Work, leading on the development of the Office for Leadership Transition. The posts of RSC Leadership Associate were created to help guide the RSC’s strategic review with a focus on diversifying the voices leading and governing the organisation.

In addition, the RSC announced today the appointments of Lisa Hughes as Chief Financial Officer, alongside Stephanie Dittmer as Director of Development.

Lisa Hughes joins the RSC from her role as Chief Operating Officer at River Learning Trust. Lisa has worked at Executive and Non- Executive levels in the not-for-profit sector for 18 years.

Stephanie Dittmer joins the Company from Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures where she serves as Associate Executive Director. Previous to this, Stephanie was Co-Director of the Institute of Imagination and served for almost a decade in the leadership team at the Donmar Warehouse.  

Commenting on these appointments, Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey added:

“This is a time for renewal at the RSC. As we begin this new chapter, we welcome Stephanie and Lisa’s combined experience, spanning diverse sectors and multiple artforms. They will be invaluable as we look ahead to the future under new artistic and senior leadership”.


For further enquiries, please contact Kate Evans (Head of Media Relations)


Vicky Cheetham has been working on an interim basis at the RSC as Executive Advisor since February 2023, supporting the Executive and Senior Leadership team across risk and business services, during a period of transition within the leadership team. Prior to this, she was Managing Director at Tate, overseeing all business operations and leading on strategy implementation across its four UK galleries, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives, as well as internationally. Before joining Tate, Vicky was the Executive Director, Arts at Southbank Centre, Europe's largest arts centre. She led strategy and delivery of the artistic programme across music, visual arts, literature, performance, dance, creative learning and festivals in London, the UK and globally. She joined the Southbank Centre Executive Team in 2010 as Director of Arts Administration, to oversee operations and delivery of over 4000 artistic events a year. After successfully implementing a transformation of business processes she was promoted to Director of Producing and Presentation, adding Visitor Experience, Ticketing and Production to her remit.

Previously, Vicky spent almost a decade working at the Barbican as the Executive Producer, working across all genres of their international music programme, as well as managing the Barbican Concert Hall. Vicky has also worked in orchestral management with The English Concert, as a project manager for the International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition, and as a freelance producer delivering galas at the Royal Opera House and Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Born in Beverley, East Yorkshire, she was educated at Leeds Girls' High School and studied music at Selwyn College, Cambridge University. An accomplished musician, Vicky currently lives in York with her husband and three children.

Stephanie Hensen Dittmer joins the Royal Shakespeare Company from Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, where she has spent the last two years as Associate Executive Director. Prior to New Adventures she led the Institute of Imagination as Co-Director and spent nearly a decade at Covent Garden’s Donmar Warehouse as Director of Development and Deputy Director of Development under the artistic leadership of Michael Grandage and Josie Rourke. Her work at the Donmar included two capital campaigns, growing the fundraised income to support 60% of the producing house’s annual operating budget, activating the Donmar’s first ticket-access scheme Barclays Front Row, and raising the international philanthropic profile of the Donmar in the US, bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars for special transatlantic partnerships and impact-driven artistic projects such as the all-female Shakespeare Trilogy led by Dame Harriet Walter and director Phyllida Lloyd.

Prior to her time at the Donmar Warehouse, Stephanie’s first UK role was with the Philharmonia Orchestra under the artistic vision of Esa Pekka Salonen. Her voluntary leadership positions include Trustee roles with national LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity akt, and with Studio Wayne McGregor, the creative vehicle for renowned innovator and choreographer Wayne McGregor CBE. She is also a Founding Advocate for ArtCry, a charity and art fund supporting urgent artistic responses to current social and political events.

Lisa Hughes Lisa has worked at Executive and Non- Executive levels in the not for profit sector for 18 years, 16 of which have been in housing. Lisa has spent the last decade specialising in change and transformation, governance and strategy, working particularly with organisations undergoing a significant programme of change and growth. She is a qualified accountant with over 20 years post qualification experience, and holds a post grad cert in Organisational Development from Roffey Park Institute. She is also a Board member of Chipping Norton Theatre, Oxfordshire Credit Union and the Hastoe Group.

Sandeep Mahal MBE has worked in the arts, literature and libraries sector for over 20 years. She joined the Royal Shakespeare Company’s senior leadership team as one of the new Leadership Associates (Executive) in January 2022, part of the RSC’s commitment to diversify the voices guiding their decision-making at the highest level. She is a sought-after panellist and speaker, having contributed to industry conferences, podcasts and online sessions exploring topics such as diversity, equity and inclusion, leadership transitions and the future of cultural leadership. Her career spans both creative and executive leadership roles: previous roles include Director at Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature from 2016 – 2021 and Birmingham Director, The Space CIC. She also worked as a producer at London Film and Screen Week, Head of Partnerships at The Reading Agency, and as Outreach Librarian at Sandwell Libraries. Sandeep was Chair of the UNESCO Cities of Literature Network (2017-2021) and represented internationally on the UNESCO Creative Cities Steering Group. She is currently an Advisory Board Member to Warwick Arts Centre and serves on the boards of Women’s Prize Trust, World Book Day and Jaivant Patel Dance Company.


The RSC is supported using public funding by Arts Council England 

The work of the RSC is supported by the Culture Recovery Fund

The RSC is generously supported by RSC America

Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates exceptional theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, London and around the world, performing plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as commissioning a wide range of original work from contemporary writers. Our purpose is to ensure that Shakespeare – and theatre as a whole – is for everyone, and we do that by unlocking the power of his plays and live performance, and with our learning and education work throughout the UK and across the world.

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the 


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