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Kris Nelson announced as the new artistic director of LIFT

The Dublin Fringe Festival director will move into the new role at the start of 2018

Kris Nelson will be the new artistic director of LIFT
© Stephen Moloney

Kris Nelson has been announced as the new artistic director of LIFT (the London International Festival of Theatre).

Nelson is currently festival director of Dublin Fringe Festival, Ireland's largest multi-disciplinary arts festival. He will take up the role as artistic director of LIFT in January 2018. He will also be joint CEO with Beki Bateson.

Nelson has worked extensively in multi-disciplinary arts in Canada, where he lived until 2014 before moving to Dublin to curate the Fringe Festival. During his tenure Nelson curated over 300 shows.

At the helm of Dublin Fringe he gained a reputation for commissioning large-scale outdoor work such as HARP: A River Cantata with Ulysses Opera Theatre on Samuel Beckett Bridge and brought new work to the festival that went on to have wider success such as How to Keep an Alien and Kim Noble: You're Not Alone.

Nelson will lead LIFT's extensive year-round programme and world-renowned biennial festival, following in the footsteps of Mark Ball, who was artistic director and CEO for eight years. Ball's departure to join Manchester International Festival was announced earlier this year.

David Binder will lead next year's LIFT 2018 Festival taking place throughout June 2018 as guest artistic director with the full programme yet to be announced.

Nelson said: "It's an honour to be appointed LIFT's next artistic director and joint CEO. LIFT's dedication to artistic ambition and commitment to connecting London to the vanguard of British and international theatre is unparalleled."

He continued: "LIFT has an incredible legacy, shaped by visionary artists and leaders and I'm thrilled to be charting its next bold moves alongside Beki Bateson and LIFT's dynamic team and Board of Trustees."

Beki Bateson said "I'm delighted that Kris will join me in leading LIFT and driving forward the artistic vision of one of our most relevant cultural institutions. His verve and commitment to supporting bold artists makes him the perfect fit for LIFT."