The artistic director merry-go-round continues to spin. Rupert Goold (pictured), currently artistic director of the Royal and Derngate Theatres, has this week been appointed to the head post at renowned touring outfit Oxford Stage Company, succeeding Dominic Dromgoole who is leaving to take over from Mark Rylance at Shakespeare’s Globe (See News, 20 May 2005).

Since arriving at Northampton in 2002, Goold has substantially raised its national reputation as a theatrical force with critically acclaimed productions of Paradise Lost, Arcadia, Faustus, Othello and, this past April, Hamlet, which was the final Royal production ahead of the venues’ 14-month closure as part of a multi-million redevelopment in the town centre (See News, 10 Feb 2005).

Prior to Northampton, Goold served as an associate artist at Salisbury Playhouse and a trainee director under Sam Mendes at the Donmar Warehouse. Elsewhere, Goold’s credits have included Sunday Father and the Award-winning Scaramouche Jones, starring Pete Postlethwaite. Coming up at the Royal Shakespeare Company, he’ll direct this September’s world premiere of Frank McGuinness’ Speaking Like Magpies, while in August 2006 he’ll direct Patrick Stewart in The Tempest as part of the year-long Complete Works festival in Stratford-upon-Avon(See News, 11 Jul 2005).

Commenting on the move, Goold said, “I have had three-and-a-half truly fantastic years at Northampton and to work in the Royal theatre has been a privilege. While it saddens me that I will not be here for the reopening of our exciting new building, both my family situation and the creative possibilities available at Oxford Stage Company created too great an opportunity to turn down.” At OSC, he said, “I look forward to building on Dominic’s fine tenure. As well as consolidating on this legacy, I intend to build new relationships nationally and internationally for the company and continue to make work of the highest quality and excitement.”

Goold departs Northampton in August to replace Dromgoole who departs OSC in October. OSC is riding high in its busiest year ever (See News, 1 Mar 2005), with eight productions including, this summer, Kathy Burke’s revival of The Quare Fellow and Dromgoole’s of Rookery Nook, and upcoming productions of Men Should Weep and Cleansed.

Meanwhile, at Lyric Hammersmith, where David Farr succeeded Neil Bartlett as artistic director last month (See News, 19 Oct 2004), executive director Simon Mellor has announced that he will be stepping down in January 2006 after more than 11 years at the west London theatre. He leaves to become producing director of the new Manchester International Festival. With Bartlett in recent years, Mellor has overseen the construction of the Lyric’s £2.6 million new front entrance and extension.

- by Terri Paddock