‘It’s time for Shakespeare to have a bit of a shake-up’ – industry figures react to the RSC’s new artistic directors

Tamara Harvey and Daniel Evans
Tamara Harvey and Daniel Evans
© Dan Wooller

Industry figures have reacted to the news that Tamara Harvey and Daniel Evans have been appointed artistic directors of the RSC.

Former National Theatre artistic director and Bridge artistic director Nicholas Hytner said today: “I was privileged to be part of the process that led to the appointment of Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey and couldn’t be more excited about the RSC’s future under their direction.

“Both have a track record of inspired leadership and a deep understanding of what a great national company needs. They shared with the appointments panel a passionate commitment to Shakespeare and a determination to embrace the widest possible audience with rigour, verve and imagination.”

Award-winning stage and screen director Sam Mendes said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled at the prospect of two of the best artistic directors in the UK combining to take the RSC into its next exciting chapter. It’s time for Shakespeare to have a bit of a shake-up – and I have no doubt Daniel and Tamara will do just that.”

Mark Foster, chairman of Chichester Festival Theatre (where Evans was formerly artistic director), said: “Daniel has been an inspiring, creative and charismatic artistic director. The remarkable range of superb productions under his tenure has brought joy and stimulation to huge numbers of people – not only in person, but to many more who have discovered Chichester’s work digitally or in the community.

“He leaves behind a thriving institution producing the highest quality work and everyone at CFT will miss him, professionally and personally; his new role at the RSC is ample testament to his talent and ability. The Board will shortly begin the process of recruiting his successor, and the Theatre is in the very good hands of our executive director Kathy Bourne. She joins me and the Board in offering Daniel our thanks for his work at Chichester, and our warmest congratulations and good wishes for his new role.”

Evans reflected on his time at the venue, saying: “I will leave CFT with immense gratitude and sadness. I have loved my time with the organisation – and owe a huge debt to the staff, artists and audiences who have come together over the years to create inspirational theatre experiences for our communities. I want to pay a particular tribute to Kathy Bourne, who has been the best partner any artistic director could ask for.

“She is kind, tenacious, funny, and forward-thinking – and, together with the leadership team, led the company through the challenges of Covid-19 with grace and humour. I will miss her and the entire team enormously, and feel proud of all the work we’ve achieved together to continue the extraordinary legacy of CFT.”