Southbank Centre appoints new artistic director

Kit Heren (13 August, 2021)

Mark Ball is currently Manchester International Festival and earlier was head of events at the Royal Shakespeare Company

46992Mark Ball

The Southbank Centre has hired a new artistic director to run its entire artistic output.

Mark Ball, who is currently creative director at Manchester International Festival, will join the centre in January next year.

He was previously artistic director and chief executive of the London International Festival of Theatre, head of events and exhibitions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and artistic director of arts festival Fierce! Mark is also chair of Belarus Free Theatre and an advisory board member of the Science and Industry Museum.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the talented and passionate team at the Southbank Centre as Artistic Director.

“As we emerge from the pandemic it will be our shared cultural experiences that will help us unite and create a positive and optimistic future together.

“I’m keen to build on the unique legacy of the Southbank Centre, which emerged from the Festival of Britain, and build a bold, inclusive and collaborative international programme that’s seared with artistic innovation and experiment and that excites the imaginations of artists and audiences across London and the UK.”

A mural on the Southbank David Parry/PA Wire

Elaine Bedell, CEO of the Southbank Centre, said: “As we enter a new era, Mark will bring a uniting vision to our mix of music, visual art, literature and performance.

“He has a clear and ambitious vision for the artistic future of the Southbank Centre, with excellence, digital innovation and international collaboration at its heart.

“Mark will join me, Misan and the rest of the team in developing an exciting new chapter for the Southbank Centre – and I can’t wait to start working with him.”

Misan Harriman, Chair of the Southbank Centre, added: “Mark will bring a fresh perspective on how we deliver a cultural programme that appeals to the many audiences we serve, and I’m excited at how he will also bring new energy and innovation to the remarkable artistic community we work with.

“Lockdown has shown us how many people turned to culture, both online and outside, so we’re aware of huge potential as we explore new ways to bring arts to our communities.

“Mark’s commitment to a wide range of voices in the arts will be invaluable as we develop a modern, post-lockdown cultural institution, and a beating heart at the centre of the capital.”


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