Penford to replace Croft at Nottingham Playhouse

Published: 1 November 2016
Reporter: Steve Orme

Excited: Adam Penford Credit: Marc Brenner
Stepping down: Giles Croft Credit: Alan Fletcher

Adam Penford is to become the new artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse, taking over from Giles Croft in 2018.

Born and raised in Nottingham, Penford trained at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts before going on to direct work at the National Theatre and on Broadway.

His work at the National Theatre includes Alan Ayckbourn’s A Small Family Business in the Olivier in 2014 and the opening gala in the Dorfman. He was also the revival director of Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors and associate director on the National Theatre’s 50 Years on Stage.

Penford has directed for the Old Vic, Watermill Theatre and Salisbury Playhouse. In 2016, his work includes Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band for Park Theatre and Unfaithful by Owen McCafferty for Found 111 on London’s Charing Cross Road. At Christmas 2016, he will be directing Platinum by Hannah Patterson at Hampstead Theatre.

Penford said, “I’m so thrilled to have been asked by the board at Nottingham Playhouse to become its next artistic director. Giles Croft and (chief executive) Stephanie Sirr have done an extraordinary job nurturing the organisation, producing a stimulating programme and building a loyal audience.

“I had my first theatrical experiences as a child at the Playhouse. I look forward to collaborating with Stephanie and the whole team as the company begins a new chapter in its illustrious history. Nottingham has always been a fantastically vibrant city and I’m excited to return home to contribute to its cultural life.”

Caroline Shutter, chair of the trustees at the Playhouse, said, “Adam impressed the board with his combined passion for Nottingham and his artistic vision. I have no doubt he’ll be creating and delivering a range of exciting work on and beyond the theatre’s stage that will attract new audiences.”

Stephanie Sirr added, “Adam combines great skill as a director with very wide-ranging experience and the ability to intrigue and engage audiences.”

Neil Darlison, director of theatre for Arts Council England, commented, “Adam Penford is a great choice. He’s very well connected within the industry and is an effective collaborator. He quite clearly cares about audiences and his home town of Nottingham.”

As previously announced, Giles Croft, who has been artistic director since 1999, is to step down in November 2017.

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