Ex-Royal Shakespeare director is new Marlowe chief

The Marlowe Theatre in The Friars

Deborah Shaw, a former associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, has been appointed the new chief executive of Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre.

She will take up the role in September when her job will be to “provide inspirational leadership and a strategic vision”.

Currently head of creative direction and innovation at Historic Royal Palaces, her first task will be to oversee the theatre’s autumn season.

Ms Shaw said: “I’ve had an amazing five years setting up and leading the team responsible for creating extraordinary experiences for audiences at the palaces cared for by Historic Royal Palaces.

“This includes everything from the 2014 Poppies installation at the Tower of London, through a range of award-winning theatre, dance, music and digital commissions and collaborations.

New Marlowe boss Deborah Shaw

“When I first visited Canterbury I was struck by the vibrancy of the arts scene at every scale.

“There was a top-flight musical at The Marlowe Theatre, a recital in The Cathedral and local bands and poets performing in a pub. I felt really at home. It’s a beautiful city and a privilege to be contributing to its cultural life.”

Before working at Historical Royal Palaces, Ms Shaw was associate director at The Royal Shakespeare Company, a role that included overseeing the World Shakespeare Festival for London 2012.

She was also director of the RSC Complete Works Festival 2006/7. Her other posts have included director of Bath Shakespeare Festival and Artistic Director of Chester Gateway Theatre.

Marlowe Trust chairman Jonathan Church said – “Deborah will be joining the theatre at an exciting time.

“Her track record of executive and artistic leadership in a number of high-profile arts organisations, combined with her belief in regional theatre and its power to connect with local audiences, will enable us to build on the extraordinary work of the current team.

“Her appointment, alongside the skill and strength of the senior management team, gives us the ability and confidence to capitalise on the incredible opportunity given to us by Canterbury City Council to take The Marlowe into a new phase of its life.”

Ms Shaw replaces Mark Everett, who spent 23 years as the theatre’s chief executive.


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