Tamara Harvey becomes the RSC’s first ever permanent female artistic director
Daniel Evans returns to the RSC after making his acting debut there in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Royal Shakespeare Company has appointed Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey as their new co-artistic directors.
The pair replace acting artistic director Erica Whyman, who was appointed following the departure of Gregory Doran in April 2022, whose husband, actor Antony Sher, died last year
Harvey has been artistic director of Theatr Clwyd since 2015, and also worked with Mark Rylance as an assistant director at Shakespeare’s Globe. She makes history in the role, being the first woman to take up the permanent role of artistic director of the RSC. Evans has been artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre since 2016, and was formerly a successful actor. He made his acting debut at the RSC in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Harvey and Evans are friends, and currently working with each other on a co-production of Enid Blyton Famous Five The Musical, which opens in Theatr Clwyd this week before transferring to Chichester.
They take up their new positions at the RSC in June 2023, and in the meantime Erica Whyman will continue as acting artistic director.
Shriti Vadera, Chair of the RSC Board, said in a statement: “The Board is delighted to appoint Daniel and Tamara as Co-Artistic Directors from an exceptionally strong field of candidates. They bring a brilliant track record of artistic achievement with a strong commitment to education, communities and championing diverse talent and voices, alongside a proven strategic ability to lead major companies. Their partnership heralds an exciting vision for the future of the RSC to attract world-class artistic talent, captivate today’s audiences with Shakespeare, classics and new work, and increase radically the reach and impact of our pioneering learning, partnerships and digital work.”
Vadera went on to say that: “We are enormously grateful for Erica’s generous and inclusive leadership and significant contribution to the Company over the last decade, including her championing of new work, her commitment to the RSC as a truly national organisation with our ground-breaking national partnerships, and of course as director across all our stages.”
Daniel Evans said:”I was fortunate to see so many inspiring performances at Stratford during my teenage years; and later celebrated my 21st birthday there during my first professional job post-drama school. So, to be returning to the RSC as its Co-Artistic Director is immensely meaningful to me. To do so alongside Tamara is a joy and a privilege. We share deep-rooted values and an ambitious vision for the Company, and we’re both looking forward to working with Catherine and the team to begin this new, exciting chapter in the RSC’s story.”
Tamara Harvey said: “Being taken to Stratford to see Murder in the Cathedral at the Swan when I was fifteen was one of the most vivid moments of my childhood. A sense of awe, but even then, a desire to get in there and start making plays: two feelings I continue to hold today. Stepping into this job is both the most exciting and the most daunting thing I’ve ever done. The great joy of working in partnership with Daniel, an artist I admire beyond measure, is that we share both that excitement and that awe at becoming the next custodians of this amazing company. We bring a shared belief in all that the RSC can be – a home for radical, relevant theatre made by artists from across the UK and the wider world. A global community inspired by Shakespeare, bringing together myriad voices to tell the stories of our time – and of all time.”
Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director, said: “I am excited to start a new leadership relationship with Daniel and Tamara who have a profound understanding of the RSC as a theatre and learning charity, combined with the high levels of the skill, imagination, talent and commitment required to make captivating theatre, unlock potential and inspire change.”
The recruiting panel for the position was led by the RSC’s chair Shriti Vadera, and included Noma Dumezweni, Nicholas Hytner, Genista McIntosh, Ayanna Thompson and Mark Thompson. Observers to the process were Neil Darlison (Arts Council England) and Donna Munday.
The RSC has past form in appointing joint artistic directors, with Trevor Nunn and Terry Hands running the RSC between 1978 to 1986.
The company’s new 2023 season will be announced next week.