Salisbury Playhouse Artistic Director to Step DownDate: 8 April 2011
Philip Wilson announced today that he is to step down as artistic director of Salisbury Playhouse at the beginning of July, after four years in the post, in order to pursue a freelance career.
Speaking about his departure, Wilson said: “The past four years have been an extraordinarily creative and stimulating time, during which the Playhouse team has been absolutely fantastic. But there are a number of directing opportunities that I am keen to pursue – and which are not compatible with devoting all my energies to my role at Salisbury. And so, as the Playhouse enters a new and exciting phase of development, with a four-year business plan in place and ongoing funding from Arts Council England secured, now feels like the right moment to hand over to a new Artistic Director who can build on our current successes, look to the future with enthusiasm and optimism, and work with the Executive Director, Board and staff to lead the organisation into a new era.”
Wilson has directed a broad range of highly acclaimed work during his tenure, from revivals of English classics such as Private Lives, The Constant Wife and The Winslow Boy to contemporary plays including Blackbird and Faith Healer, as well as his own adaptation of JL Carr’s A Month in the Country. His current production of Marivaux’s The Game of Love and Chance is playing to packed houses.
In these difficult times for arts funding, Wilson also has been commended for innovative programming – The Daily Telegraph applauded his recent rediscovery of Philip Massinger’s The Picture, declaring “It is great to find a regional theatre with all guns blazing, at a time of cuts and caution.”
Chairman of the Salisbury Playhouse Board, Helen Birchenough, commented: “Philip’s indefatigable energy and unfailing commitment to theatre of the very highest quality have ensured that the Playhouse – and its ‘Made in Wiltshire’ brand of in-house productions – has gone from strength to strength in recent years. He will be much missed, but we look forward to finding someone of a similar calibre artistically to lead the organisation in the years ahead.”
This process starts immediately, with plans for the new Artistic Director to be in place by the beginning of the Playhouse’s Autumn season in September.