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Leeds Playhouse appoints new executive director


Shawab Iqbal - new Leeds Playhouse executive director
Shawab Iqbal - new Leeds Playhouse executive director

Shawab Iqbal is joining Leeds Playhouse as its new executive director.

Currently executive director and chief executive officer at the Gate Theatre in London, he will begin his new role in Leeds in October.

Shawab also sits on Arts Council England’s London Area Council, and is a senior artistic associate at the Bush Theatre. He has also worked with Theatre Royal Stratford East and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, as well as undertaking extensive freelance worK.

Shawab is also vice chair of Tamasha Theatre, deputy chair of the London Theatre Consortium and a trustee at Northern Stage.

He said: “I'm looking forward to working with the brilliant Playhouse team as we shape the next chapter of the organisation, which will continue to inspire, interrogate and welcome. Leeds is a very special city and I can’t wait to return.”

Chief executive and artistic director James Brining said: "Shawab brings a depth of knowledge from working across theatre and dance, and his visionary work in supporting Black, Asian and ethnically-diverse arts workers following the pandemic is really impressive."