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Justin Audibert announced as new Chichester Festival Theatre artistic director

Audibert is currently artistic director at

Justin Audibert
© Seamus Ryan

The new artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre has been unveiled.

Justin Audibert will take over the role from Daniel Evans, when, later this year, Evans heads to Stratford-upon-Avon to begin his tenure as co-artistic director of the RSC alongside Tamara Harvey.

Audibert, currently artistic director at the Unicorn Theatre in London – a post he has held since 2019 – will take up the post in July 2023, working alongside executive director Kathy Bourne. He has also directed a variety of productions as a freelance director, including The Taming of the Shrew at the RSC and The Jumper Factory at the Young Vic and in prisons across the UK.

Audibert said today: "I am so excited to be joining Kathy Bourne and the wonderful team at Chichester Festival Theatre. It is an organisation that creates brilliant, innovative productions with inspirational artists that delight audiences in Chichester, across the UK and around the world. In addition to the magic that is created on its stages is the ground-breaking work CFT does in communities through their Learning, Education and Participation department. Being able to combine those two huge passions of mine and lead such a dynamic team makes this my dream job, and I am honoured to have been appointed the new artistic director by Mark [Foster, chair of the theatre] and the trustees.

"Whilst this is a wonderful opportunity for me it is, of course, tinged with the sadness of leaving the Unicorn Theatre. I want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to the entire team at the Unicorn who have given and taught me so much. It is a unique and joyful organisation and I look forward to cheering it on and watching it grow and thrive under my successor.

"Lastly, on a personal note, Chichester holds a very special place in my heart. As a child we used to holiday in this beautiful area and I have a deep abiding affection for the stunning countryside and friendly people of West Sussex. I cannot wait to get to know them better as we create the next chapter in Chichester Festival Theatre's illustrious history."

Bourne added: "Justin's shared understanding that our work off stage for all members of our community and young people stands equal with our outstanding work on stage, aligns perfectly with CFT's vision and values.

"His verve and dynamism are a great fit for CFT and will ensure that we continue to deliver ambitious, exciting work of the highest quality. I'm so looking forward to welcoming him to the team at Chichester."

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