Vicky Featherstone will step down after a decade as Artistic Director of the Royal CourtPublished on Fri 3 Feb 2023
Vicky Featherstone has announced she will step down later this year when the search for a new Artistic Director is complete and once they have taken up post.
Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director, the Royal Court Theatre says:
“Being Artistic Director of the Royal Court is one of the best jobs in the world – creating something over ten years with the most dedicated, passionate and thoughtful people throughout every single area of the organisation – from stage door to the board and the donors – with the actors, other artists and freelancers who bring all of themselves to make incredible plays happen, and of course having the ultimate privilege of being in daily conversations with visionary, transformational writers. I would do it forever if I could. And although I am usually the last one to leave the party, it’s time for me to hand over the guardianship of this extraordinary, enduring mission to someone else. When I started this job in 2013 I set myself a time limit of ten years, and I am holding myself to that. There are no words for how life-changing, challenging, invigorating and complex this job is, and like everyone who has ever done this role here, it is forever part of my DNA.
The search for the next person to take the helm starts now – recruitment for the post will begin in late February and in true Royal Court tradition, I will not leave until the new Artistic Director has begun. I hope this announcement sets fires alight in the bellies of those who can create the future for theatre and I am so excited to see where we will go next.
I’ve been an Artistic Director and CEO since 1997, first at Paines Plough and then the National Theatre of Scotland, and now here at the Royal Court for a full decade. I have no concrete plans as to what I will do next. Top of the list is to make an appointment at the dentist. Basically I’m releasing myself back into the wild….”
Anthony Burton CBE, Chair of the Board of Trustees, the Royal Court Theatre says:
“Vicky has been a tireless leader of the Royal Court for 10 years, brilliantly navigating turbulent times not least keeping the Court afloat for two years during Covid. She has been an innovator and champion of many initiatives such as the “Me Too” movement in the theatre. We are hugely grateful to Vicky for her invaluable and profound contribution to the work, welfare, and financial stability of the Court.”
At the start of Vicky Featherstone’s tenure in Summer 2013 the keys of the building were handed over to the writers, for Open Court, a 6 week festival which included 133 performances and over 40 new plays and found new collaborative ways of working across the building. Since then, under Vicky Featherstone’s stewardship, the theatre has supported over 600 writers through the writer development programmes and groups and commissioned and premiered work from writers aged 8-80 across five continents, many of whom were first time writers.
The writers include: Abhishek Majumdar, Abi Morgan, Abigail Uche-Kalunta, Adam Brace, Adara Fernandez, Afua Hirsch, Al Smith, Aleshea Harris, Alexander Mushore, Alexandra Wood, Alexandra Shaw, Alexey Polikhovich, Alexey Sutuga, Alexi Kaye Campbell, Allen, Alice Birch, Alistair McDowall, Amalia Vitale, Amarachi Rachel Nwokoro, Amari, Amber Hsu, Ameera Conrad, Amelia Stubberfield, Amir Gudarzi, Amma Asante, Amy Bethan Evans, Amy Jephta, Anastasiia Kosodii, Anchuli Felicia King, Andre, Andrei Cotet, Andrea Dunbar, Andreas Flourakis, Andrei Cotet, Anders Lustgarten, Andrew Schneider, Andrii Bondarenko, Anna Deavere Smith, Anna Jordan, Annie Baker, Annie Siddons, Ann-Maria McCarthy, Anoushka Warden, Anthony Neilson, Anupama Chandrasekhar, Anushree Bhattacharjee, Anya Davies, April De Angelis, Arran McPherson, Ava Wong Davies, Azade Shahmiri, Belicia, Benjamin Salmon, Benedikt Paffgen, Bertie Newman, Bilal L, Bilal M, Billie Hands, Binnie Yeates, Blessing Adetunji, Bola Agbaje, Brian Fofana, Brad Birch, Bukky Bakray, Caitlin McEwan, Campbell X, Carmen Green, Caro Black Tam, Caroline Horton, Caryl Churchill, Charlene James, Charlie, Charlie Kemp, Chidinma Ejimonye, Chifaa Khelfaoui, Chinonyerem Odimba, Chloe Chilvers, Chloë Moss, Chris Coleman, Chris Goode, Chris Salt, Chris Thompson, Chris Thorpe, Christopher Adams, Christopher Rapley, Ciaran, Ciaran Stewart, Claire Lizzimore, Clara Brennan, Cleo Raatus, Clint Dyer, Constanza Macras, Cordelia Lynn, Corinne Leander, Dalia Taha, Danaja Wass, Daniel Santangelo, Daniel York Loh, Danny Lee Wynter, David Edgar, David Eldridge, David Ireland, David Greig, David Spencer, David Watson, Dawud, debbie tucker green, Deborah Pearson, Debris Stevenson, Deirdre Kinahan, Dennis Kelly, Dex Chait Grodner, Diana Nneka Atuona, Dianna Hunt, Duncan Macmillan, Elisabetta Pola, Ellie Fulcher, Ellie Kendrick, Elliot Barnes-Worrell, Emma Dennis Edwards, Emmanuel Li, Emteaz Hussain, Enda Walsh, Enxi Chang, Eoin McAndrew, Errol McGlashan, E.V. Crowe, Eva Kerslake-Blue, Eva Kretova, Ed Thomas, Eve Leigh, Faith, Faizal Abdullah, Fatima Kazmi, Fausto Paravidino, Felix Mufti, Florence Adrian, Flynn, Gary Owen, Gavin Joseph, Ghiath Mhithawi, Grace Savage, Goldie, Guillermo Calderón, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Hamza, Harry, Harvey, Héctor Manchego, Hester Stefan Chillingworth, Ian Sturrock, Iman Qureshi, In Bed With My Brother, Inaya Anyaegbunam, Iffeyinwa Frederick, Inua Ellams, Isabella, Isabelle Kennedy-Grimes, Jabir Tahori, Jack Franco, Jack Thorne, Jacqueline Holborough, Jada, Jade Anouka, Jade Franks, Jade Small, Jake Margolin, Jamael Westman, Jamal Gerald, James, Jammz, Jared Blue Gale, Jasmin Mandi-Ghomi, Jasmine Lee-Jones, Jasmine Naziha Jones, Jasmyn Fisher-Ryner, Jay Bernard, Jennifer Haley, Jennifer Joseph, Joseph Burke-Gaffney, Jez Butterworth, Jim Cartwright, Jo Clements, Joe Penhall, Joe Ward Munrow, Joel Tan, John Donnelly, Johnson Adebayo, Jolin, Jonathan Freedland, Jonathon Thomas, JoseLuis Aquino-Mejia, Joseph Burke-Gaffney, Josh Elliott, Joyee Lee, Julia Gonchar, Julia Jarcho, Jules Spillman, Kaan, Kacper Radziewicz, Kai, Kamahl Sami Miller, Kamari, Karen Laws, Kae Tempest, Katherine Soper, Kathryn Golding, Kayla Feldman, Kelly Lewis-Cole, Kevian T. Mitchell, Kgomotso Khunoane, Khush Chahal, Kieran Hurley, Kit Withington, Kristalle Anderson, Kristen Sieh, Kyth, Lamar Harper, Lasha Bugadze, Laura Hopwood, Laura Lindow, Lauren John Joseph, Jack Nicholls, Johnnie, Lemn Sissay, Lena Lagushonkova, Leo, Leo Butler, Leon Ceren, Lettie Precious, Libby King, Lily Habibiyan, Lindon Alexander, Lindsay Rodden, Lisa Hammond, Liudmyla Tymoshenko, Liwaa Yazji, Lola Arias, Lola Clark, Lola-Rose Maxwell, Louis, Luanda Casella, Luca, Lucas Ferrar, Lucas Hnath, Lucia, Luke Barnes, Lucy Edkins, Lucy Kirkwood, Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen, Lynette Linton, Madhi, Mahesh Parkar, Maia Settecasi, Maisie Adair, malakaï sargeant, mandla rae, Marcelo Dos Santos, Marcus Evans, Margaret Perry, Maria Adeneye, Marie Besse, Marica Lopes Tavares, Mark Hannah, Mark Ravenhill, Martin Crimp, Martin McDonagh, Martyna Puciato, Maryam, Masha Kevinovna, Matilda Ibini, Matt Hubbs, Matt McGuigan, Maud Dromgoole, Maxim Pakhomov, May Sumbwanyambe, Maya Zbib, Mia, Mia Chung, Mehdi Zebboujie, Mhairi Ledgerwood, Micheal Mary Schaefer, Michael Wynne, Mika Onyx Johnson, Mine Ertanin, Miriam Battye, Mohammad Yaghoubi, Moira Buffini, Molly Davies, Mongiwekhaya, Monae Robinson, Monsay Whitney, Naomi Obeng, Naomi Lundie-Smith, Naomi Soneye-Thomas, Naseem Charrat, Natalka Vorozhbit, Natalia Blok, Natasha Brown, Natasha Collie, Natasha Gordon, Nathaniel Martello-White, Nazareth Hassan, Nemo Martin, Nessah Muthy, Nick, Nick Bruckman, Nick Cassenbaum, Nick Gill, Nick Payne, Nick Vaughan, Nicki Large, Nicola Wilson, Nicôle Lecky, Nikole Beckwirth, Nina Cassells, Nina Segal, Oarabile Ditsele, Oksana Savchenko, Oleksii Dorychevskyi, Oles Barleeg, Olha Matsyupa, Olivia Hannah, Pablo, Pablo Manzi, Pamela Carter, Paula David, Pavel Pryazhko, Penelope Skinner, Perpetua Png, Pete MacHale, Pheonix, Phil Bayes, Rabiah Hussain, Rachel Mars, Rachael Spence, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel De-Lahay, Ray Filar, Ray Young, Rebecca Porter, Rebecca Prichard, Reuban Messiah, Rex Clark, Rhianna Ilube, Richard Walls, Rikki Beadle-Blair, Rob Drummond, Rob Hayes, Robert Alan Evans, Robin French, Rory Mullarkey, Rosa Connor, Rose Lewenstein, Roy Williams, Ruby David-Pimlott, Ruby Holder, Ruby Stokes, Ruby Thomas, Ruth Tansey, Ryan Calais Cameron, S, Sabrina Mahfouz, Sam, Sam Pickering, Sami Ibrahim,Sammy O’Byrne, Sandra Pinheiro, Sanaz Toossi, Saori Chiba, Sarah Hanly, Sarah Kosar, Sarah Milton, Sarah Stephenson, Sean, Skylar Taz, Selina Thompson, Sepy Baghaei, Serafina Cusack, Shaquille Henry, Shereen Jasmin Phillips, Shoko Matsumura, Shôn Dale Jones, Si’an Chen, Sihle Mnqwazana, Simon Longman, Simon Stephens, Siobhán McSweeney, Sizwesandile Mnisi, Solomon Katabula, Somalia Nonyé Seaton, Sonia Jalaly, Sonny, Sonya Hale, Stacey Gregg, Stef Smith, Stephanie Ridings, Stacey Santos Mota, Steve Furst, Steven Kavuma, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Suhayla El-Bushra, Sultan Odukoya, Sumah Ebele, Suriya Aisha, Susie Sillett, Suzan Lori Parks, Swati Simha, Taichi, Taichi Shinokubo, Tamsin Daisy Rees, Tanika Gupta, Tankiso Mamabolo, Tash Brown, Tash Marshall, Teddy, Temi Wilkey, Temidayo Abayomi-Joseph, TerriAnn Oudjar, Testament, Terry Johnson, Thando Mangcu, The Matthew Herbert (Great Britain and Gibraltar European Union Membership Referendum) Big Band, Theresa Ikoko, Thomas Eccleshare, Tife Kusoro, Tim Crouch, Tim Price, Tom Fowler, Tom Wells, Tomoko Kotaka, Toni Almonte, Toni Roberts, Travis Alabanza, Tristan, Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, Tyreke Leslie, Vanessa Montfort, Veronica Rodriguez, Vickie Donoghue, Vicknesh Visvanathan, Vicky Jones, Vivienne Franzmann, Wendy Ragiste, Winsome Pinnock, Wumni Ibironke, Yang Jingguan, Yaseen Mohamed, Yasmin Joseph, Yasser Zadeh, Yegor Skovoroda, Yomi Ṣode, Yuqun Fan, Zain Dada, Zarema Zaudoniva, Zed Levy, Zeyana Yussuf, Zhang Zai, Zia Ahmed, Zina, Zinnie Harris ZoÃ, and Zosia Wand.
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The theatre has welcomed schools, poets, scientists, journalists, beat-boxers, drag artists and students amongst many others to their stages since 2013. The work has travelled from the Royal Court’s two home stages to the West End, Broadway and off-Broadway, Edinburgh International, Manchester International and WOW Festivals, on national and international tours as well as in partnership online and on screen with the BBC, the Financial Times and the Guardian and the theatre’s own digital platform.
The next season of work at the Royal Court, including Vicky’s final production, will be announced in March.
Photo credit: Jill Mead