It’s just been officially announced that at the end of the year I’ll be leaving National Theatre Wales to become Artistic Director of the Manchester International Festival.
My time at NTW has been a truly wonderful experience, and the community of artists and enthusiasts I have had the privilege to be part of here has had a massive impact on me. So while there will be lots to say over the coming months, I wanted to start by saying a huge thank you to everyone in the NTW community who has been part of this journey.
I’ll be at NTW until the end of the year – though with my time split between MIF and NTW from September - and I’m looking forward to working on the next three NTW productions: (150), Iliad and The Insatiable, Inflatable Candylion, as well as getting everything in place for our spring production of Before I Leave.
We have, as ever, lots of exciting plans at NTW, and you’ll be hearing more about some of them over the coming months. I firmly believe that the NTW team – both the core staff and the wider network of freelancers and artists – is second to none in its ability to deliver extraordinary work, and I have no doubt that the upcoming productions will delight, surprise and excite.
NTW’s work with communities – throughout Wales and across the web – has been central to us and I very much want to keep connected to a wide range of people as I head North. I also hope that there will be chances to collaborate.
As some of you may know, Manchester International Festival was set up a couple of years before NTW and quickly became one of the most significant festivals in the world through a bold policy of programming only brand new commissions. There are few companies that I would want to leave NTW for, but seven years has always felt to me like the right amount of time for me to establish NTW, and MIF is a perfect opportunity of me to continue doing the kind of work I love in a new and challenging context.
So, there will be tears (from me), memories, future plans and a drink or two to be had, but for now I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in the extraordinary adventure of NTW for your comradeship, creativity and unflinching support.
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