Theatre News

Young Vic announces Kwame Kwei-Armah as new artistic director

The director and playwright will take over the reins from David Lan next year

Kwame Kwei-Armah
Kwame Kwei-Armah
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Writer, director and actor Kwame Kwei-Armah has been announced as the new artistic director of the Young Vic.

Kwei-Armah – who is currently in rehearsals for his production of Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea at the Donmar – will leave his current post as artistic director of Center Stage in Baltimore, Maryland, in June 2018.

He takes over from David Lan who announced his departure earlier this year. Lan was appointed as head of the theatre in 2000 and has run the venue for 17 years, overseeing productions including Yerma, A View from the Bridge, The Life of Galileo and Happy Days.

As an actor, Kwei-Armah spent five years working on the BBC One medical drama Casualty. But it's for his work as a director that he has found lasting success, receiving acclaim for recent productions including One Night in Miami at the Donmar, Bob Marley musical Let There Be Love at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and his own play Elmina's Kitchen at the National Theatre, which earned him an Olivier Award nomination.

On his new role, Kwei-Armah said: "To walk into the Young Vic is to come face to face with everything I love about theatre, so I am beyond humbled, if not a little scared.

"But to lead this magnificent theatre at this time in our nation’s history, after such a visionary as David, excites me beyond words. I can’t wait to get started."

Lan added: "The choice the panel has made is inspired. I welcome it wholeheartedly and will do whatever I can to support Kwame in the early days as he finds his own distinctive way to keep the Young Vic one of the great producing theatres of this country and the world."