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Roxana to leave Birmingham REP for Hampstead

Published: 20 November 2018

Roxana Silbert, artistic director of Birmingham REP for the past six years, is to leave in June 2019 to take up a similar position at London’s Hampstead Theatre.

She led the company through its centenary year and the reopening of The REP in 2013 after a two-year redevelopment.

She said, “my time at The REP has been one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I love The REP and I love Birmingham. The REP has an extraordinary team of people and it has been an honour and a pleasure to work with everyone here.

“I’m very proud of everything that has been achieved since we reopened the building and everyone who has made those achievements possible. I’m eternally grateful to our audiences—for me their support is evidence that audiences both demand and deserve theatre that represents the diversity of the city around us.”

Chair of the board of trustees Angela Maxwell commented, “Roxana has been an outstanding artistic director and the board is enormously proud of what The REP has achieved under her artistic leadership.

“Her drive and commitment in promoting diversity, championing accessibility for artists and audiences and maintaining The REP’s longstanding value of nurturing and premièring new work has been second to none. Roxana leaves The REP in a strong position.”

Executive director Stuart Rogers added, “I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone at The REP in saying that working with Roxana over the past six years has been a delight. Her wholehearted commitment to the many roles that a large, regional producing theatre plays nowadays has been exemplary, and the shows she has directed for us have been of the very highest standard.

“Roxana has undoubtedly played a significant part in this theatre’s long and proud history, putting artistic quality, diversity and access firmly at the heart of everything we do. We will miss her and wish her well.”

During her tenure, Silbert increased the range of shows on offer and the number of world premières the theatre presented, including Chris Hannan’s What Shadows, about Enoch Powell’s "rivers of blood" speech featuring Ian McDiarmid, One Love: The Bob Marley Musical by Kwame Kwei-Armah, Rudy’s Rare Records with Lenny Henry and Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones.

Among the many productions that Silbert directed was the first Ramps on the Moon production, David Harrower’s adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector, which featured integrated captioning, audio description and BSL.

She constantly championed new work including commissioning plays from Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Kate Tempest, Alexander Zeldin, Rachel De Lahay and Tom Wells and has nurtured local talent such as Steven Camden and Selina Thompson.

Silbert will direct two final productions for The REP, the UK première of Alexis Michalik’s comedy Edmond De Bergerac in March 2019 and the European première of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini in June 2019.

Steve Orme