Theatre News

Kully Thiarai appointed new artistic director at National Theatre Wales

The current executive and artistic director at Cast will take over from May

Kully Thiarai
Kully Thiarai

Kully Thiarai has been named as the new artistic director and chief executive of National Theatre Wales. Thiarai will leave her role as executive and artistic director at Cast Theatre to take over the helm from John McGrath who leaves to run the Manchester International Festival.

Thiarai has previously led theatre venues and producing companies including Contact Theatre in Manchester, Leicester Haymarket Theatre and Red Ladder Theatre Company, Leeds as well as transforming the arts in Doncaster since the £22million venue Cast was opened in September 2013.

Her directing credits include Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Kes and Cinderella for Cast, Obama The Mamba by Kevin Fegan, (nominated for two Manchester Theatre Awards – Best Play and Best Actor 2012) and Bogus Woman by Kay Adshead (London, UK, Australia, New York).

Commenting on the move, Thiarai said: "I am thrilled to be joining National Theatre Wales. I have been hugely inspired by the range and diversity of work that has taken place over the last five years under John McGrath’s leadership. A wonderful artistic mapping of Wales and its people; extraordinary work that is daring, provocative and joyous, found in surprising places across the country.

"I intend to build on this legacy by ensuring that National Theatre Wales continues to be original, radical and relevant. Many people and organisations have contributed brilliantly to making the company such a national and international success, and I look forward to working with them all."

Phil George, chair of NTW’s Board, added: "I’m delighted to welcome Kully to the leadership of NTW… She has superb cooperative skills and will forge strong relationships with artists and writers in Wales and internationally. There are exciting times ahead."

John McGrath said: "I am utterly delighted… she is a perfect choice for this fantastic job."