The Rep's artistic director takes final bow - The Solihull Observer

The Rep's artistic director takes final bow

Solihull Editorial 20th Apr, 2024   0

BIRMINGHAM REP’S artistic director is set to step down this summer following his forthcoming production of Withnail and I.

Sean Foley said his decision was made before Birmingham City Council announced cuts to the Arts budgets, and is unrelated to them.

The double Olivier-Award-winner said: “It has been an honour to be the artistic director of this magnificent and historic theatre over the past five years.

“The Rep has consistently been able to deliver a truly ambitious programme of artistically credible popular theatre across its three auditoria – even through the multiple challenges of the past years – is testament to the tenacity, talent, and commitment of the extraordinary staff team here.

“The ambition we have shown in my time here has seen audiences come back to The Rep at greater levels than before the pandemic, with audiences growing by a further 20 per cent in the year.

“I’m especially proud that 2023 has a claim to be one of the very best years in The Rep’s extraordinary history, with three world premieres, two West End transfers, international work, multiple award nominations, our largest youth and community festival ever, and being shortlisted for The Stage’s Theatre of the Year.”




Sean took on the role in 2019 and during his tenure The Rep has undergone a re-brand, gained stylish new foyers, and celebrated its 50th Anniversary in its Centenary Square home; it became Birmingham’s first Theatre of Sanctuary, and declared Climate Emergency.

Ayub Khan, interim chair of the Board of Trustees said: “Sean has led the Rep Artistically with great talent, formidable determination, and a wide-ranging vision.


” The programme he has delivered has consistently increased audiences, met its financial targets, brought world class talent to work here, and brought extraordinary National and International work of the highest calibre to the theatre – all of which has created genuine excitement around The Rep as a major producer, and contributed significantly to cultural placemaking in Birmingham.

“From the challenges of the pandemic, through to the risks of re-opening, and the past years of real achievements, his consistent focus on excellence has meant that The Rep now means more to more people, both in the City and wider afield”

The theatre said recruitment for new artistic leadership will begin later this month.

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