Timothy Sheader appointed new Donmar Warehouse artistic director

British theatre director Timothy Sheader has been appointed as the new Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse in London.

Timothy Sheader is currently Artistic Director of the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, where he has been since 2007.

Sheader will take over from outgoing Donmar artistic director Michael Longhurst in March 2024.

Like Longhurst, Sheader will also be the joint Chief Executive of the Covent Garden venue, alongside Executive Director Henny Finch.

Adam Kenwright, chair of the board of the Donmar Warehouse, said that Sheader was “a popular and dynamic theatre-maker and collaborator”, and outgoing head Michael Longhurst said: “I wish Tim every success in the role, I know he’s joining an incredible team, and I’ll be cheering from the stalls when his programme begins.”

Currently playing at the Donmar is Jack Thorne’s new play When Winston Went To War With The Wireless until 22 June, followed by musical Next to Normal starring Caissie Levy and Trevor Dion Nicholas from 12 August to 7 October 2023. Lynn Nottage drama Clyde’s plays from 13 October to 2 December 2023, ahead of Macbeth starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo from 8 December 2023 to 10 February 2024.

Currently playing at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is musical Once On This Island, until 10 June 2023. Forthcoming shows include a revival of La Cage aux Folles, directed by Timothy Sheader, playing from 29 July to 16 September 2023.

Donmar Warehouse – Henny Finch and Tim Sheader Photo by Helen Murray

What they said

Tim Sheader said in a statement: “What an absolute honour to follow in the footsteps of theatre giants and be asked to lead this remarkable theatre. The invitation live performance offers to share a moment in time together has never been more important, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to invite as many different audiences as possible to experience the life enhancing feeling of being in that unparalleled space, where our imaginations can soar and magic happen. As the Donmar continues on its path as a financially independent theatre I am very much looking forward to meeting and working with its many loyal members and supporters to create inclusive, accessible and must-see work on and beyond the stage. I would like to thank all my colleagues, past and present, permanent and freelance, at the mighty Open Air Theatre for travelling with me on the most incredible journey. I am delighted to join Henny Finch, the Board and all of the Donmar team, in serving audiences, old and new alike, in this unique and world class theatre.”

Adam Kenwright, Chair of the Board, said: “Tim joins the company at an extraordinary time of opportunity for the Donmar, and we couldn’t be more delighted to welcome him. A popular and dynamic theatre maker and collaborator, he brings with him a wealth of experience of leading a company – one that sits outside the National Portfolio, yet one with proven artistic excellence and commercial savvy, that remains entirely committed to audience growth and diversity. It’s these very qualities, alongside those of our incredible Executive Director and joint CEO Henny Finch, that will forge an ideal partnership, attracting world class talent to our Covent Garden home and beyond, as he leads the artistic vision with the team over the coming years. I also want to say a huge thank you to the panel, Board and recruitment specialists for their dedication and support throughout this process – we had a wealth of talented candidates, and through a thorough process have found in Tim, the perfect alchemy to lead our organisation.”

Henny Finch, Donmar Warehouse’s Executive Director and joint CEO, said: “During his time as Artistic Director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Tim has led with great creative talent, genuine care for artists, and vitally a commitment to making excellent work that appeals to a wide range of audiences. This energy, commitment and experience make him the ideal candidate to succeed Michael, and, jointly with me, lead the Donmar’s talented team. I am very much looking forward to working with him as we navigate the next period of our history.”

Michael Longhurst, outgoing Artistic Director and joint CEO said: “I wish Tim every success in the role, I know he’s joining an incredible team, and I’ll be cheering from the stalls when his programme begins.”

More about Timothy Sheader

Sheader is currently Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, a role he has had since 2007.

He has directed over 20 productions for the company, including the Olivier and Evening Standard Award-winning musicals Into the Woods, Hello Dolly, Crazy For You (also West End), and Jesus Christ Superstar (plus Barbican, US & US tour).

His critically acclaimed production of To Kill a Mockingbird also toured the UK ending with a sell-out run at the Barbican.

His other stage work includes The Monstrous Child (Royal Opera House), My Fair Lady (Aarhus Theatre), Barnum (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Magistrate (National Theatre), The Three Musketeers (Bristol Old Vic), Hobson’s Choice, Love in a Maze, The Clandestine Marriage (The Watermill Theatre), Piaf, Sweet Charity (Sheffield Theatres), Unless, The Star Throwers (Stephen Joseph Theatre), Achilles(Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Fringe First Award), La Maison Suspendue (RSC), and Streetcar to Tennessee (Young Vic).


📷 Main photo: Timothy Sheader. Photo David Jensen

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