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Vicky Featherstone to step down as Royal Court artistic director

Featherstone has been in the role for a decade

Vicky Featherstone
© Jill Mead

The Royal Court's artistic director Vicky Featherstone has announced she will step down later this year.

Featherstone, who joined the much-cherised central London new writing venue in 2013, has said she will depart once a new artistic director has begun their tenure, with the search set to begin later this month.

She explained today: "Being artistic director of the Royal Court is one of best jobs in the world - creating something over ten years with the most dedicated, passionate and thoughtful people throughout every single area of the organisation - from stage door to the board and the donors - with the actors, other artists and freelancers who bring all of themselves to make incredible plays happen, and of course having the ultimate privilege of being in daily conversations with visionary, transformational writers.

"I would do it forever if I could. And although I am usually the last one to leave the party, it's time for me to hand over the guardianship of this extraordinary, enduring mission to someone else. When I started this job in 2013 I set myself a time limit of ten years, and I am holding myself to that. There are no words for how life-changing, challenging, invigorating and complex this job is, and like everyone who has ever done this role here, it is forever part of my DNA."

Chair of the board of trustees, Anthony Burton, added: "Vicky has been a tireless leader of the Royal Court for ten years, brilliantly navigating turbulent times not least keeping the Court afloat for two years during Covid. She has been an innovator and champion of many initiatives such as the "#MeToo" movement in the theatre. We are hugely grateful to Vicky for her invaluable and profound contribution to the work, welfare, and financial stability of the Court."

Featherstone reflected on her tenure: "I've been an artistic director and CEO since 1997, first at Paines Plough and then the National Theatre of Scotland, and now here at the Royal Court for a full decade. I have no concrete plans as to what I will do next. Top of the list is to make an appointment at the dentist. Basically I'm releasing myself back into the wild…."

Featherstone's last season of work will be announced in March.