Theatre News

Six new artistic directors to lead Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre as part of Up Next

Artistic Directors of the Future has launched a new programme aiming to broaden the diversity of people running theatres

© Morley Von Sternberg/ Philip Vile

Six aspiring artistic directors are to take the reins of two of London's most important off-West End theatres.

As part of a new programme run by Artistic Directors of the Future, six candidates will help take on the running of the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre for a year.

The six members of Artistic Directors of the Future have been picked to carry out the same duties as an existing artistic director including fundraising, delivering an artistic season and pitching ideas to a board of directors.

The participants are Tarek Iskander, Lekan Lawal, Saad-Eddine Said, Tobi Kyeremateng, Ruthie Osterman and Sita Thomas. Two project managers – Reena Kalsi and Alison Holder – have also been appointed to work alongside the artistic directors. Iskander, Lawal and Said will work at BAC, while Kyeremateng, Osterman and
Thomas will be based at the Bush Theatre.

David Jubb, artistic director of Battersea Arts Centre said: "In Battersea, Lekan, Tarek and Saad are
exciting everyone they meet and it is brilliant to experience the impact of their work: before, during
and after their takeover season. This project forms a very real part of our succession
planning as an organisation, helping inform how we open up leadership roles across our

Artistic director of the Bush Theatre Madani Younis said: "I am so very excited by our six directors. They each bring so many unique experiences to the table that I am sure will affect the culture of our buildings in a deep and lasting way. Be sure to remember the names of these six directors, you'll be asking them for a job in the coming years!"

Artistic Directors of the Future was founded in 2014 by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway to increase the number of culturally diverse artistic directors of theatres. The organisation has over 300 members which it creates workshops, schemes and networking opportunities for.

Hodge-Dallaway said: "Our Up Next programme presents a new pathway to leadership by placing our ADF members up front and centre to lead the existing teams at reputable theatres and implement their vision."