Theatr Clwyd‘s artistic director Tamara Harvey has been appointed co-artistic director at the Royal Shakespeare Company alongside Daniel Evans, the artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre.
The pair will take on the roles of co-artistic directors at the RSC, with The Guardian dubbing them “an inspired duo”. Tamara joined Theatr Clwyd back in 2015 – and was later joined by Executive Director Liam Evans-Ford in 2016 – marking a watershed moment for Welsh theatre, with the company supporting Welsh voices and debuting more than 50 world premieres. In 2021, Theatr Clwyd was named The Stage’s “Regional Theatre Of The Year” – now, Tamara will be the first woman to take on the role permanently at the RSC.
Reflecting on the news, Tamara said: “The word ‘life-changing’ is overused but Theatr Clwyd has, genuinely, changed my life. This is where I learned to be an Artistic Director, where I became a mother, where I’ve directed some of the work of which I’m most proud, and where I’ve had one of the most important collaborative relationships of my career with the brilliant Liam Evans-Ford […] It will be heart wrenching to leave the team at Theatr Clwyd –world class theatre makers as well as properly lovely humans – but I do so knowing that our theatre on a hill will continue to be a vital home for our communities and a cultural beacon for Wales.”
“And I leave safe in the knowledge that nowhere could have given me a better foundation for stepping into one of the biggest roles in world theatre […] To be Co-Artistic Director of the RSC alongside the amazing Daniel Evans is a once in a lifetime opportunity and the only thing that could have lured me away from North Wales.”
Liam Evans-Ford, Theatr Clwyd joint CEO said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to lead a major arts organisation with Tamara for over 6 years. During this time, we have made huge strides in placing our communities at the heart of what we do, and championing Welsh artists at all scales of production. I’ll miss Tamara greatly, as will many others, but she leaves behind an organisation that is in a strong position for the future. We cannot wait to see what she achieves in her new role.”
“Shriti Vadera, Chair of the RSC Board, 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”.
Writing on the joint appointment in The Guardian, Michael Billington said: “It is all change at the top of British life. We have a new monarch, a new prime minister and, from June 2023, we will have two new artistic directors at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey. It looks like an inspired appointment, and it is not without precedent. Trevor Nunn and Terry Hands were joint artistic directors of the RSC from 1978 to 1986. Going back further in time, Anthony Quayle and Glen Byam Shaw ran the Shakespeare Memorial theatre, as it then was, from 1952 to 1956. Given the size of the present company, it makes sense to have two people at the top.”
Revisit some of Wales Arts Review‘s Theatr Clwyd production reviews here.