Ovalhouse seeks new artistic director


London theatre news: Wednesday 23 October 2019


Casting & jobs - Off-West End - Theatres

Deborah Bestwick, Director for over 20 years, will be departing from Ovalhouse ahead of its move to a new home in Brixton, leaving a job opening for a new Artistic Director/ CEO.
Deborah Bestwick artistic director of Ovalhouse in cab of digger

Photo by Jon Spaull


At the helm for over 20 years, Ovalhouse's Director, Deborah Bestwick, will be standing down from her role ahead of the venue's move to its new building in Brixton.


With the organisation relocating in December 2020 and their opening season following in Spring 2021, the recruitment of a new Artistic Director is now underway.


The development comes during the organisation's (literally!) ground-breaking season, The Demolition Party, for which Artists were commissioned to make shows that boldly left their mark and were encouraged to make permanent changes to the existing building, taking apart the much-loved old theatre.


Deborah Bestwick said ...


"We are building a fantastic new theatre, designed to support Ovalhouse to do what it has always done best: welcome the widest range of audiences to see the best of new theatre, created by artists who are telling the stories that need to be told.


Ovalhouse has supported divergent voices over decades, picking at the fault lines of our society, creating new ways to surprise, provoke and enthral us.


Just as we constantly re-invent theatre, I always intended to make space for a new Director to develop new visions for the theatre in Brixton - it is part of the DNA of Ovalhouse.


Just as The Demolition Party is an intentional process to deconstruct our old building as our new home arises in Brixton, so is the succession policy of the leadership of Ovalhouse a move towards a new generation.


We want a new Artistic Director to have a long lead in, get to know the building and its community and potential before we open the doors.


My time at Ovalhouse has been a privilege and a pleasure.


So many new artists have brought their work here and are now lighting up the theatre world with their talent and skill.


However, building a new theatre is also a hard slog of a job.


Whilst a new Artistic Director looks to the future, I will continue to support the company in a different capacity, looking after the practicalities of getting that job finished."


Ovalhouse's new building in Brixton will boast two flexible theatre spaces, seven rehearsal studios and supporting facilities.


The building has been funded by the sale of the land at the Oval (to Surrey County Cricket Club), Arts Council England, Cockayne, The Wolfson Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation.


The organisation has £1.4m left to raise.


If you're interested in applying for the post of Artistic Director / CEO, there's a job pack available here and the closing date for applications is noon on 29 November 2019.


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