About a week ago, Rupert Goold was announced as the new artistic director of the Almeida theatre in London as from August this year, when he will leave the Headlong theatre to fill his new position. Famous for being provocative and bold, Goold has become one of the most renowned directors within the British theatre. Regarding his new job, he stated that he is very much looking forward to “welcoming the best artists from here and abroad to make work in this magical theatre and building on its international reputation for theatre of risk and vision.” Richard Attenborough, who has been the Almeida’s director for eleven years, has stated that he is leaving the position to concentrate on directing and has already approved of Goold as his successor.
The Background and Current State of Affairs
British theatre is changing: over the last few years, leading positions have consistently been changing hands to fall in fresher and younger ones. Since 2010, the Donmar Warehouse, Birmingham Rep, London’s Tricycle, Scotland’s Traverse, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Courts and the National Theatre of Scotland have had top positions falling vacant.
Vicky Featherstone, who will soon become the artistic director of the Royal Court, has been running the UK’s first non-building-based national theatre with great success. Laurie Sansom, who will succeed Featherstone when she leaves, and Erica Whyman, a creative leader who has recently become a part of the Royal Shakespeare Company, are just some of the new leaders.
This new group of theatre heads is more eclectic, culturally and ideologically varied, coming from many different backgrounds. The new generation of theatre makers might find a different audience to more conservative theatres, as the new artistic director of the Tricycle theatre, Indhu Rubasingham, stated. She has also noted the need for this theatre to find an audience which is representatively diverse, and has shown her excitement for what she considers a “shrinking world”.
After such change and renovation, there is a lot to expect from British theatre in the following years. The young air will surely make theatre a yet more solid stronghold of cultural diversity and interracial communication in years to come.