Dukes, Lancaster's new artistic director

David Chadderton

New Dukes artistic director Sarah Punshon has arrived at the Lancaster venue.

Punshon has previously directed for stage and TV as well as creating live events for Manchester Museum and the Natural History Museum in London. She is married to writer and performer Daniel Bye and they have an eight-month-old baby daughter.

She said, “it’s hard to put me in a box because my career has been so varied—which makes me a great match for The Dukes.

“A professional theatre that puts participatory work centre-stage; a theatre that’s also an arthouse cinema; a building-based organisation that regularly produces extraordinary site-specific work beyond its walls—The Dukes has this brilliant disregard for boundaries, a refusal to be categorised.”

In August, Punshon will open the theatre's doors for Kickstart Open Space, when Northern artists will take over its spaces for two weeks supported by the in-house team. She said, “I want to meet local companies and widen the range of people we work with.”

She will also soon welcome a new Associate Producer from Tamasha Theatre who will work at The Dukes for 18 months with the aim of placing artists from diverse backgrounds centre-stage.