The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has announced the appointment of Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey as its new co-artistic directors.
Erica Whyman is currently the acting artistic director of the theatre company after Gregory Doran announced last September that he was taking a period of compassionate leave to care for his husband Sir Antony Sher.
The theatre star later died in December at the age of 72 from cancer and Doran confirmed he was stepping down from the position in April.
Evans, who is currently artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre, and Harvey, who is artistic director of Theatr Clwyd in Wales, will take over the role in June 2023.
The pair are regular collaborators and applied together for the position.
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.”
Harvey said: “Being taken to Stratford to see Murder In The Cathedral at the Swan when I was 15 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.”
Shriti Vadera, chair of the RSC board, chaired the artistic director recruitment panel comprising of Noma Dumezweni, Nicholas Hytner, Genista McIntosh, Ayanna Thompson and Mark Thompson.
Vadera said: “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.”
At the request of the board, Whyman will continue as acting artistic director until June 2023 and she will then leave the company to pursue a freelance career.
Doran has taken on the role of artistic director emeritus until the end of 2023 and will direct his 50th production for the company in spring 2023.
The RSC’s executive director Catherine Mallyon 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.”