Theatre News

Kate Varah appointed National Theatre executive director

Varah travels a few hundred metres from the Old Vic to the National

Kate Varah
Kate Varah
© Cameron Slater

The National Theatre has revealed its new executive director.

Kate Varah, currently executive director of the Old Vic, will take over the role from spring 2022 – succeeding Lisa Burger.

Having started her career at Linklaters, Varah initially worked at Chickenshed. She holds a number of Board positions with the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and Sheffield Theatres Crucible Trust. She has been at the Old Vic for 12 years, having been appointed executive director in 2015.

Varah said today: "I am honoured to have been appointed to work with Rufus Norris and the incredible team at the National Theatre, taking the baton from Lisa Burger who has been an extraordinary force for positive change and innovation.

"I have had the most amazing 12 years at the Old Vic and I am incredibly proud of what Matthew and I have achieved there together. This move to the National now represents a new and unparalleled opportunity to serve an organisation that I have long admired and respected. Working collaboratively to shape its future as an accessible, inspirational theatre for everyone right across the nation will be a huge joy, privilege and responsibility – and one I'm looking forward to immensely."

Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre commented, "I'm very excited to be welcoming Kate Varah to the National Theatre next year as Executive Director, and I look forward hugely to working in close partnership with her. She is a great leader and a dynamically engaged force within the sector, not least over the last eighteen months.

"This is a crucial time in the organisation's history and Kate's experience and far-sighted knowledge will be invaluable. Through our conversations over recent months, it is clear that Kate shares many of the NT's values around representation and accessibility, and she is passionate about the role of theatre nationwide. She will be a terrific advocate for and asset to this institution."