East Riding Theatre (ERT) has appointed Adrian Rawlins as its new artistic director. He will work with the creative and programming team to develop the theatre’s artistic programme from January 2017.
Vincent Regan, founder of ERT, who has just overseen his successful sell-out Christmas adaptation of Great Expectations, announced his decision to stand down as artistic director in September last year although he will continue his involvement as creative director and a member of ERT’s Board of Trustees. The ERT Board expresses its thanks to Vincent for his invaluable role in establishing the theatre and building its reputation for high quality work.
Adrian, a regular on screen and stage, has been an actor for 30 years (Harry Potter, War and Peace, Dickensian). He has been involved at ERT since it opened in 2014, both on stage alongside Regan in A Steady Rain and behind the scenes as assistant director on Oliver Twist and Hamlet and as a Board member. Speaking of his new role, Adrian says, “I’m very honoured to have been asked to fulfil the role of artistic director by ERT and to continue my involvement as part of this amazing team of dedicated board members and volunteers who literally give their time to make the running of the theatre possible.”
For the year ahead at ERT, Adrian says, “2016 was a challenging year for many, both on the national and international stage, as well as losing a good handful of inspirational luminaries from the Arts. I feel a 'life-affirming' programme for 2017 is what the doctor ordered!”
His directorial debut at the theatre will be The Night Season by Rebecca Lenkiewicz. “I first saw this play at the National Theatre in 2004 and was so riveted I never wanted it to end,” elaborates Adrian. “It follows the hilarious loves, life and misdemeanours of the Kennedy family. We have a fantastic cast in place and my mission is to make it as enjoyable for you as it was for me back then.”
Beyond that, 2017 will see ERT hosting a new music festival ‘Stage4Beverley’ in February, the Godbers return in May with their hit show Shakers, July will see a premier of Dracula The Musical, and in September, ERT’s company in residence She Productions will showcase It’s Different For Girls, a musical play inspired by Hull’s first girl band, containing original and ‘60’s songs.
ERT Theatre Manager Sue Kirkman says, “'With immense pleasure, I look forward to working with Adrian whose creativity, leadership and professionalism has already earned respect from myself, my colleagues and ERT's volunteers. Adrian encapsulates the very essence of what ERT is about, an 'all hands to the deck' theatre that delivers top notch work within a welcoming and community driven environment.”