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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Comment by Kama Roberts on May 20, 2015 at 9:17

Well, thank you so much for everything you have done for Wales. Your energy and comitment to NTW has been a huge inspiration.  Really, really sad to be loosing you. Good luck with your new adventure x

Comment by National Theatre Wales on May 15, 2015 at 21:33
Thanks Carl and Sandra. Carl I think it will be a very positive moment for NTW. We have a great team, a strong board, loads of ideas for the future and a fantastic community. Lots of very good people are going to want my job - you will all be spoiled for choice!
Comment by Sandra Blue on May 15, 2015 at 10:03

I'm both happy and sad at your news!  Congratulations x

Comment by Carl Morris on May 14, 2015 at 21:08

John, huge congratulations on this appointment! You are a total professional and I know you will relish the new challenge. But what will be the ramifications of this departure for Wales?!

Comment by National Theatre Wales on May 13, 2015 at 22:45
Thank you guys. You've not seen the back of me I guarantee!
Comment by Jain Boon on May 13, 2015 at 21:03
I am absolutely devastated....Xxx
Comment by Carolina Vasquez on May 13, 2015 at 19:58
John there will be tears from me too. You are an incredible inspiration. Moving to Wales, coincidently, right at the start of NTW has had a huge impact on my life. Thank you. Congratulations.
Comment by Laura H Drane on May 13, 2015 at 17:07

Llongyfarchiadau John! You'll be missed here but what a win for Manchester to have drawn you back. Go well.

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