Rachel O'Riordan
Rachel O'Riordan

The National Theatre's Rufus Norris may grab most of the headlines, but another new artistic director is celebrating today.

Acclaimed Welsh company Sherman Cymru has announced the appointment of Rachel O'Riordan to lead the organisation from February 2014.

O'Riordan joins Sherman Cymru from Perth Theatre in Scotland, where she is currently artistic director. She was recently nominated for Best Director in the 2013 UK Theatre Awards for her production of The Seafarer by Conor McPherson.

Her freelance directing work includes Miss Julie and Animal Farm for the Peter Hall Company, Theatre Royal Bath, Everything is Illuminated at Hampstead Theatre, The Absence of Women at the Tricycle and Gates of Gold at the Library Theatre, Manchester.

Sherman Cymru chairman David Stacey said: "The Board was unanimous in its selection of Rachel... Although not Welsh speaking, her understanding of the need for a bilingual theatre was very clear and obviously emanates from her own Celtic upbringing in a bilingual household in Ireland. We look forward to her joining us and I know she will undoubtedly take us, and the wider arts community in Wales, on an inspiring journey."

O'Riordan, who is Irish, added: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining Sherman Cymru at this point in the life of the theatre... I grew up in a bilingual household and my father was a passionate advocate for the Irish language. He is multi published in his native tongue. I am delighted to be able to support Sherman Cymru in our role as a guardian and advocate for the Welsh language in the arts."

She succeeds founding artistic director Chris Ricketts, who stepped down earlier this year to pursue other interests.