Daniel Evans succeeds Jonathan Church at Chichester powerhouse

Daniel Evans Chichester Festival Theatre

Sheffield Theatres’ creative head Daniel Evans is moving south after being named successor to Jonathan Church for one of the country’s most coveted posts in the business.

Chichester Festival Theatre today named Evans as its new artistic director. He had been artistic director of Sheffield Theatres since 2009. He will take up his new post in July 2016.

CFT chairman, Sir William Castell said: “I am delighted to confirm Daniel Evans as our next artistic leader.

“After a comprehensive search, we were presented with a very accomplished shortlist of candidates but it was clear that Daniel’s breadth of experience as a director and actor makes him a brilliant fit for Chichester Festival Theatre.

“He is widely admired for championing classical work and musicals alongside a commitment to new writing, and his passion for theatre is infectious.

“I am very happy he has chosen to share that with us as we look forward to a terrific future for CFT.”

Daniel Evans said: “I am truly delighted to be asked by the board at Chichester Festival Theatre to become its next artistic director.

“Under the leadership of Jonathan Church and executive director Alan Finch, Chichester has developed into the most incredible theatrical powerhouse which has fed and nourished the local community in the South East as well as the theatre ecology throughout the UK and internationally.

“I look forward to collaborating with the team in West Sussex to develop that work further as the organisation evolves into this next exciting chapter in its history.

“I am hugely grateful to the entire staff at Sheffield Theatres and I’m deeply proud of the bold, passionate and enriching work we’ve achieved together in our City Region. It has been a real privilege to lead the organisation for the last seven years.”

Jonathan Church and Alan Finch.
Jonathan Church

Jonathan Church, who leaves Chichester in September 2016, added: “I could not be happier with this fantastic news. Daniel is a first-rate director with a real passion for theatre and I’m really pleased to be leaving Chichester Festival Theatre in such good hands.

“As someone who has lived and worked in Sheffield, I can truly appreciate everything that he has achieved there.

“Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre has the only other large-scale Guthrie thrust stage in the UK, so Daniel’s experience will sit wonderfully with our audience here in Chichester and be welcomed with great excitement by our staff.

“I will continue to programme and deliver our Festival 2016 season as I hand over to Daniel and wish him every good fortune as he takes over the helm.”

Welsh-born, Daniel Evans, 42, trained as an actor and has gone on to be the recipient of two Olivier Awards and a Tony nomination.

He has been artistic director of Sheffield Theatres since 2009 where his programming has included acclaimed seasons of plays by David Hare, Brian Friel, Michael Frayn and Sarah Kane.

He is currently directing a new production of Show Boat at Sheffield and his production of American Buffalo with Damian Lewis recently completed a West End run at the Wyndham’s Theatre.

The recruitment of the new executive director to replace Alan Finch will begin immediately with an announcement expected next spring.

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