We announce today that after 7 years as Artistic Director of Headlong, Jeremy Herrin will be stepping down in 2020 to pursue a career as a freelance director. During the seven years Herrin has led the company it has experienced remarkable success with his own productions such as the ground-breaking The Nether which played at the Royal Court and in the West End; the multi-award-winning People, Places and Things by Duncan Macmillan which played at the National Theatre, on tour in the UK, in the West End and at St Ann’s Warehouse; Jack Thorne and Stephen Warbeck’s Junkyard on tour in the UK; James Graham’s This House on tour in the UK and in the West End; and Graham’s Olivier Award-Winning play Labour of Love in the West End.
Under Herrin, we are delivering on 50/50 gender equality in its new play commissions, with 25% of those from BAME writers. The company has under commission artists such as Inua Ellams, James Graham, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Nathaniel Marthello-White, Chloe Moss, Jack Thorne and Naomi Wallace, as well as the current productions of Hedda Tesman by Cordelia Lynn directed by Headlong Associate Artistic Director Holly Race Roughan and the new play for early 2020 Faustus: That Damned Woman written by Chris Bush and directed by Caroline Byrne.
To date, during the course of Herrin’s tenure, over 1.2 million people across the UK and internationally have seen Headlong shows. In the last three years, along with Executive Director Alan Stacey, Herrin responded to the current political crisis by launching Headlong films, with over 2 million people watching the Headlong / Guardian Brexit Shorts and more films planned for release later this year. Herrin and Stacey created Headlong Futures, the company’s first outreach programme, which brought together diverse groups from across the country to tell their stories. They also created Headlong Origins, an artist development programme that provides creative support and a platform for artists from outside of London.
Recruitment for a new Artistic Director will begin in October.
Jeremy Herrin said:
“I’ve had the most wonderfully creative time at Headlong and I’m deeply proud of what we’ve achieved. I’ve loved being able to produce our great work around the country. It’s been an honour to support some great artists, and be supported by our smart board to evolve what Headlong is about.
I’m proud of the shows and I think Headlong Futures, Headlong Origins and the way the company operates are real achievements. I’m looking forward to a fantastic final year at Headlong, and I’ll be cheerleading the superb Alan Stacey and my talented colleagues as Headlong further cements itself as one of our best companies.
As well as the team, I’d like to thank Arts Council England and Headlong’s incredibly generous donors for allowing us to take artistic risks and to reach such large, diverse and enthusiastic audiences.
Theatre is such a powerful form and it’s been a privilege to imagine it, make it and share it with this fantastic company and the community around it.”
Chair of the Board Robin Paxton said:
"Jeremy has been an extraordinary and outstanding artistic director of Headlong. He joined a company already buzzing with creativity and originality, and through his productions, his inspiration and his energy has built upon the legacy yet also transformed Headlong so that he will leave it bigger, more varied, more diverse, more engaged and even more creatively exciting than he found it. We’ve been very lucky to have him and we wish him every success and fulfilment in the next stage of his marvellous career."
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Ben Chamberlain or Kate Hassell