Coventry City of Culture 2021 appointed me in September 2016 to work with Belgrade Theatre, Coventry . Inspired by black theatre pioneer Ira Aldridge who ran the Theatre Royal in Coventry in the 19th Century, the initial bid for City of Culture included an ambitious plan for the theatre to “hand over the keys” of the institution to two specially appointed artistic directors or producers for the City of Culture year. Every home-grown production would be lead by the two appointees.
Working with the whole senior team, but particularly Artistic Director Hamish Glen and Executive Director Joanna Reid (either end of the row in the picture above), we shaped the initial proposal into one which fit the embedded and neighbourhood based approach of the City of Culture. Having secured significant 3-year funding from City of Culture, the theatre appointed Corey Campbell, Balisha Karra and Justine Themen as Co-Artistic Directors (in the centre of the picture above), with a remit to programme and direct the Theatre’s produced work for UK City of Culture 2021.