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News: Newcastle’s Live Theatre appoints new Artistic Director

Newcastle’s Live Theatre appoints new Artistic Director

Live Theatre, Newcastle, one of the UK’s great new writing theatres, has appointed Joe Douglas as its new Artistic Director. Joe will start at the Newcastle Quayside based theatre in April 2018.

Joe Douglas, New Artistic Director, Live Theatre, Newcastle 
Joe is currently a freelance theatre director. After training in Directing at Rose Bruford College, he became a Trainee Director at the National Theatre of Scotland, and has directed plays for National Theatre of Scotland, Dundee Rep, where he was Associate Artistic Director, and productions that have toured extensively across Scotland. He is also Co-Artistic Director of new writing, touring company Utter.

Joe Douglas said: "I have long admired Live Theatre - the reputation is mighty. Artistically and politically, I think we will fit each other well.  New writing is at the heart of my work and I look forward to connecting with audiences and artists in Newcastle and the wider region. I hope to build from the extraordinary legacy of Max Roberts and the exceptional writers that he has championed over so many years. I enjoy making work with and for young people, so the opportunity to help craft the Live Tales programmes is inspiring.  I just want folk to take their eyes off screens, pull a chair up in our theatre and experience a story that will change them a bit. I can't wait to get stuck in at Live Theatre and make the most scintillating new plays we possibly can.”

Joe’s highly acclaimed new production of John McGrath’s The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, for Dundee Rep also went on a sell out Scottish tour in 2016. His production of Death of a Salesman won three awards at the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2017. Joe has also won four Fringe First awards for plays he has directed.

Jim Beirne, Chief Executive Live Theatre explains:  “We are absolutely delighted at Joe Douglas’s appointment as Live Theatre’s new Artistic Director.  He currently has a five star reviewed show at the Lyceum in Edinburgh and has been a recipient of multiple awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  He will lead on Live Theatre’s artistic programme from April 2018, with Emeritus Director, and Visiting Professor at Sunderland University, Max Roberts.”

Live Theatre has an international reputation as a theatre for new work and new writing, with many of its plays touring nationally and internationally. In 2017 two of Live Theatre’s plays transferred to London’s West End, The Red Lion written by Patrick Marber and directed by Max Roberts, and Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, written by Lee Hall, and co-produced with National Theatre of Scotland, which also received an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Live Theatre also increased the number of Live Tales creative story writing workshops offered each week for schools, and received an award from Virgin Money Foundation to increase these further in 2018 including at The Fire Station, Sunderland. Live Theatre finished the year with a sell-out run of its acclaimed play The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes.

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