Theatre director Suba Das is to replace long-time incumbent Gemma Bodinetz as boss of Liverpool's Playhouse and Everyman theatres.
Das has been appointed creative director of the twin theatres – a new role that replaces that of artistic director and comes with a five-year fixed term.
Currently artistic director of London-based HighTide Theatre (“new theatre for adventurous people”), he takes over following the decision of Bodinetz to step down after 17 years in charge.
Das will take up his new job next spring, with the task of shaping the theatres' artistic future, as well as “bringing a fresh perspective into two of Merseyside’s iconic venues”, the organisation says.
Das has previously worked at Leicester's Curve, the National Theatre Studio and English Touring Theatre. Born in Newcastle, he read English at Cambridge and trained on the Birkbeck MFA in Theatre Directing. On graduating he won the Old Vic New Voices TS Eliot US/UK Award and became director in residence at the National Theatre Studio. He has also directed for Northern Stage, Nottingham Playhouse, Bolton Octagon, the Young Vic and the Roundhouse, and 2020 saw the revival of his acclaimed production of Sukanya – the only opera by legendary musician Ravi Shankar.
Das says his new appointment is "an Incredible honour; it’s certainly quite the journey for a brown kid brought up on benefits.
"It’s also an extraordinary responsibility, as I don’t think we’ve ever experienced a more profoundly serious need for culture. Not only because we need joy and moments of connection as we continue to battle through a pandemic, but also as we all try to find our responses to the ever-starker truths of climate crisis, gender violence, transphobia, structural racism and so much more.
"We absolutely need safe, inclusive spaces where people of all backgrounds really can debate, explore, find nuance and hopefully have some fun, within all that.
“I’m excited to get underway, commissioning new work that shouts out to the whole world what lessons we can all learn from Liverpool’s incredible history and context. I think there are stories in Liverpool that resonate nationally and beyond. I’m excited to create new touring and co-producing partnerships to fly the flag for this extraordinary, progressive city as far and wide as possible.”
Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust chair Andrea Nixon said: “Together with his creative flair and emerging vision for the journey ahead, we can build confidently on the history of our two theatres to create and deliver a bold and inspiring new future.”