Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale in King Lear at the National Theatre last year
© Mark Douet

Simon Russell Beale has been named as the next Cameron Mackintosh visiting professor of contemporary theatre at the University of Oxford.

The multi award-winning actor, known for his long association with the National Theatre, will succeed Stephen Fry next month. He will speak at a public event and undertake student workshops in the art of theatre, based at St Catherine's College.

He follows a prestigious line of actors, writers, directors, and producers in the role including Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Miller, Alan Ayckbourn, Richard Eyre, Phyllida Lloyd and Patrick Stewart.

Commenting on his appointment, Russell Beale said: "I am hugely looking forward to my year as visiting professor, and feel very honoured to have been asked. It allows me to indulge, even further, my obsessive interest in Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and I hope that the students I meet will enjoy our working together. I know for certain that I will learn a huge amount."

Professor Roger Ainsworth, Master of St Catherine's College, added: "Simon's impressive list of stage and screen acting credits span a remarkably diverse career, which has included theatre, television, film, and radio. Our students will be very fortunate indeed to have the opportunity to learn from such a versatile actor."