Royal Court Theatre Announces Vicky Featherstone as Next Artistic Director

11 May 2012



Vicky Featherstone will succeed Dominic Cooke as Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, when he steps down in April 2013, it was announced today (Friday 11 May).

Featherstone has been Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland since its foundation in 2006, touring work to venues large and small all around Scotland. One of her first commissions was the hit production Black Watch by Gregory Burke, directed by John Tiffany, which attracted international acclaim, winning multiple awards and touring all over the world.

At the National Theatre of Scotland, her credits include Enquirer (co-directed with John Tiffany), Appointment with The Wicker Man by Greg Hemphill and Donald McLeary, 27 by Abi Morgan, The Wheel by Zinnie Harris, Somersaults by Iain Finlay MacLeod, Wall of Death: A Way of Life (co-directed with Stephen Skrynka), The Miracle Man by Douglas Maxwell, Empty by Cathy Forde, Long Gone Lonesome by Duncan McLean, Cockroach by Sam Holcroft (a co-production with the Traverse Theatre), 365 (a co-production with the Edinburgh International Festival), Mary Stuart (Citizens, Glasgow and Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh) and co-directed The Wolves In The Walls (Tramway, Lyric Hammersmith, UK tour and New Victory Theater, New York).

Vicky Featherstone was Artistic Director of new writing company Paines Plough Theatre Company 1997-2005, before taking up her National Theatre of Scotland post. Under her directorship, Paines Plough toured extensively across Britain and internationally, garnering many awards for her work as a director and a reputation for discovering and developing the best writing talent. Her credits there include The Small Things by Enda Walsh, Pyrenees by David Greig, On Blindness by Glyn Cannon, The Drowned World by Gary Owen, Tiny Dynamite by Abi Morgan, Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco by Gary Owen, Splendour by Abi Morgan, Riddance by Linda McLean, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union by David Greig and Crave by Sarah Kane, Prior to this Vicky worked in television as drama executive for the BBC, Granada TV and Central TV. She created several original drama series, including Where the Heart is and Silent Witness. She started out her career at the Royal Court as an Assistant Director.

Vicky Featherstone said:
“Under the brilliant leadership of Dominic Cooke the Royal Court Theatre has achieved phenomenal success and it is a great honour and privilege to be taking over from him as Artistic Director.

“Since I first became aware of the power of theatre to challenge and entertain, the Royal Court has been at the very forefront of my experience. Indeed my first foray into professional theatre was as Assistant Director on Martin Crimp’s No one Sees The Video. In its tireless championing of the playwright as the centre of the creative process the Royal Court has created the environment for some of our greatest and bravest thinkers and talents to emerge. My entire understanding of and belief in theatre is predicated on the playwright. It is the playwrights who find story, form and structure in the most unlikely yet inspiring places and who breathe the life into ideas, thus demanding their urgent work be realised for an audience.

“These are challenging times. Now more than ever we need places where reflection, question and visceral experience can elevate the daily and the private and remind us of our humanity and universality. The Royal Court is that place.

“My time as Artistic Director of National Theatre of Scotland has been life-changing and shown me possibilities of theatre that I never knew existed. To have been able to direct and programme a wide range of work for such diverse audiences in age, geography and background has challenged my notion of what theatre can be. I am excited to be able to bring this experience and passion to my new role. The fearlessness and skill of our playwrights, discovered and as yet undiscovered, combined with our complex and thrilling contemporary culture is a powerful combination.

“I am thrilled to be able to take the Royal Court on the next stage of its precious and brilliant journey.”

Anthony Burton, Chairman of the Board said:
“I’m delighted that Vicky Featherstone will succeed Dominic Cooke, who has led the Royal Court so successfully for the last six years. Vicky dazzled the selection panel with her vision and inspiration and the English Stage Company Board was left in no doubt that she should lead the Royal Court and take it forward into its next exciting phase. I’m thrilled that for the first time in its 56 year history, the Royal Court will have a woman at its helm.”

Dominic Cooke, Artistic Director said:
“I couldn’t be happier with Vicky’s appointment and am really pleased to be able to hand over the company to such a brilliant and inspiring director. Vicky has an outstanding record of bold programming at Paines Plough and National Theatre of Scotland and I look forward to seeing where she takes the company next. “


For further information, please contact Anna Evans on 0207 565 5063 or