National Theatre Wales: Lorne Campbell is new director

Lorne Campbell Image copyright Craig Connor / NNP
Image caption Lorne Campbell started his career at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre

National Theatre Wales has appointed a new artistic director to replace the outgoing Kully Thiarai in 2020.

Lorne Campbell has been the artistic director at Northern Stage in Newcastle since 2013.

He started his career in Scotland at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre and has previously worked as a director at venues across the country including Liverpool Everyman, Birmingham Rep and Theatre Royal Bath.

Mr Campbell starts the role in spring.

Kully Thiarai announced she was standing down in June after three years with NTW to take charge of Leeds 2023, a year-long celebration of culture in the city following its unsuccessful bid to become that year's European Capital of Culture.

Her tenure coincided with complaints by a group of writers which had accused NTW of undermining Welsh artists and asking for productions to have a Welsh or Wales-based artist as the primary artist.

They also raised concerns over a low theatrical production rate.

Image copyright National Theatre Wales
Image caption Kully Thiarai was appointed in 2016

NTW subsequently held a meeting with the group which were described on both sides as "constructive" following an "honest, brave and complex conversation".

Following the announcement, Mr Campbell said: "The chance to work with the incredible talent, ambition and dynamism of Welsh theatre and through the innovative and flexible model of NTW, to create opportunities for new conversations between audiences, artists and communities, domestically and internationally, is both remarkable and humbling.

"There is great work happening in Wales and I cannot wait to engage with the depth and breadth of this creativity, aspiration and expression."

Clive Jones, who chairs NTW, said: "We were impressed by the range and depth of Lorne's artistic work, his obvious leadership skills and clear commitment to promoting and developing Welsh talent.

"He will bring a new energy and vitality to theatre in Wales."

Phil George, who chairs Arts Council Wales welcomed the appointment, adding: "Lorne's range of experience bodes well for the company's continuing development, working closely with the artists of Wales."

Image copyright NATIONAL THEATRE wales
Image caption Recent NTW productions include The Tide Whisperer, which was staged in Tenby

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