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New Creative Leadership Team Appointed at Theatre Royal Plymouth

Associate Directors and Artists for Change

Press Contact: Savanna Myszka

19 June 2023


After a significant period of independent industry consultation, and a rigorous recruitment process, Theatre Royal Plymouth are delighted to announce six creative appointments as part of their creative renewal journey. John Haidar, Malaika Kegode, Sara Rhodes and Tom Jackson Greaves will join TRP as Associate Directors, and Bee Jarvis and Natasha Pavey will join as Artists for Change.

The four Associate Directors and two Artists for Change will join TRP’s Chief Executive and Executive Producer, James Mackenzie-Blackman, and Executive Director, Producing and Programming, Liz King, to deliver the producing and programming strategy for all of TRP’s creative and artistic activities, on-stage and off.

These new roles come after TRP announced a major reorganisation of their creative and producing team, to be led by a group of artists, instead of one Artistic Director. This new direction of creative leadership was influenced by industry colleagues who led an independent review of TRP’s creative leadership, commissioned by Chief Executive and Executive Producer, James Mackenzie-Blackman.

Of the appointments James said: “I am delighted to welcome John, Malaika and Tom to join Sara and lead our creative strategy, make extraordinary work, and shape the future direction of our organisation. Thanks to funding from Jerwood Developing Arts Fund we have also appointed Bee and Natasha as our Artists for Change. Together these six artists promise to be a creative powerhouse here in our ocean city.”

You can read more about the process of these appointments and the next steps for TRP’s creative renewal here.

Dame Darcey Bussell DBE, Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Chair of the Board said: “Under James’ leadership, TRP has led a nationwide search to help us evolve into a future-focused and artist-led organisation. My fellow trustees and I are so looking forward to seeing the exceptional work this new team will undoubtedly make together, enabling us to take work made in Plymouth to ever greater audiences.”


Associate Directors

John Haidar

“I’m delighted to be joining Theatre Royal Plymouth at the inception of this visionary new chapter in its cultural life. As the UK’s largest and most well-attended regional producing theatre, TRP has inestimable potential. I can’t wait to collaborate with the extraordinary team there to create inclusive and innovative work across its stages and beyond.”


Malaika Kegode

“As my own journey into a career in the arts has been unconventional, I’m so excited to be joining an organisation that is dedicated to shaking things up and challenging the norm in an industry that can often feel inaccessible. I’m dedicated to celebrating all that theatre and live performance can be for everyone, realising that innovative new work and classic stories can not only co-exist but thrive. I grew up in Devon and have a long-standing relationship with Plymouth. I love the tenacity, creativity and kindness of this city and its people. My hope is for TRP to totally encapsulate the spirit of Plymouth, so that it becomes a place where every artist feels welcome, and every Plymothian knows they are an integral part of the work we’re doing and will always be welcome here. Geddon, bey.”


Sara Rhodes

“I am thrilled and incredibly proud to be one of the new Associate Directors at TRP. It’s an exciting time for TRP and the city more broadly. I can’t wait to collaborate with the new team of artists to make, produce and creatively steer a bold and ambitious artistic programme in the years to come.”


Tom Jackson Greaves

“Theatre Royal Plymouth has always been a part of my story; from watching shows here as a child, to performing in The Lyric in my professional debut, to more recently having work tour to the venue. It is the place that ignited my love for theatre.

“After a decade of work as a freelancer, I am looking forward to growing alongside a brilliant team as we carve out the theatre’s next chapter. We will celebrate TRP as an ambitious, creative and inclusive hub – where we can make extraordinary work whilst championing artists, community and audience. It’s the dream first steps in artistic leadership and I cannot wait to continue the story.”


Artists for Change

Bee Jarvis

“It feels so incredible to be here, in this wonderful team, with this fantastic opportunity right before me. I never thought I’d be where I am now, and now I have a chance to positively impact Plymouth’s diverse arts scene. I can’t wait to get started!”

This role is supported by the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund.


Natasha Pavey

“I am extremely excited to join Theatre Royal Plymouth. As a young activist and creative, I can’t wait to work with and learn from an incredible team in my home county of Devon. I am keen to ensure the climate emergency is always a priority within the creative industries.”

This role is supported by the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund.


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