Announcement - Artistic Leadership

Lorne Campbell - photo by Iona Firouzabadi
Lorne Campbell in rehearsal for TENET at Gate Theatre

Lorne Campbell announced as new Artistic Director of Northern Stage

Lorne Campbell has been announced as the new Artistic Director of Newcastle’s Northern Stage, taking over from predecessor Erica Whyman, OBE who left in late December for the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

Lorne, 35, is currently Co-Artistic Director at theatre company Greyscale and a freelance director and theatre-maker.  He is also the course leader of the BA Directing programme at Drama Centre, Central St Martins. He is a graduate of the Channel 4 Young Theatre Director’s Scheme and a former Associate Director at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.  During his time at the Traverse he directed a range of work including Distracted by Morna Pearson (Winner of the Meyer Whitworth Award) and Carthage Must Be Destroyed by Alan Wilkins which was named Best New Play Critics’ Awards Theatre Scotland in 2007. 

Lorne has also worked extensively in mainland Europe and Britain and since 2008, he has been a freelance director with works at The Gate, London, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Birmingham Rep and Oran Mor. He founded his company Greyscale in 2009 which has produced touring work ever since including What Would Judas Do? by Stewart Lee, What The Animals Say by David Ireland and A Prayer by Selma Dimitrijevic, the latter being the recipient of Northern Stage’s Title Pending Award in 2010.

This appointment represents something of a homecoming for Lorne as he received his first professional directing role at Northern Stage back in 2001 assisting then-Artistic Director Alan Lyddiard on the company’s Playboys Season. 

Lorne said: “I am delighted to be joining the team at Northern Stage. I had my first professional job as an assistant director here and have worked with the company in a number of ways over the intervening years. To be given the opportunity to work as Artistic Director for this remarkable theatre is staggering. I cannot wait to begin to work with the incredible artists and audiences of this brilliant city. I have always loved the ambition and optimism of Newcastle and am very proud to become part of the vibrant cultural life of this city”

Lorne follows hot on the heels of Erica Whyman who recently became the new Deputy Artistic Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Erica said: “I couldn't be more thrilled by Lorne's appointment.  He has vision and determination and I know that he will be ambitious for the company whilst working intelligently and ingeniously with partners in the City of Newcastle, the North East and all over the UK.  He has a passionate commitment to developing great and daring theatre, he is a wonderful director, and a sensitive and creative collaborator, with whom I and the Northern Stage team have very much enjoyed working in recent years.  I think the Board has made an excellent and thoughtful decision and I can now rest easy that Northern Stage will be in very good hands indeed!”

Northern Stage’s Chair of the  Board of Trustees, Fiona Standfield said: "After considering impressive applications from a wide range of theatre makers and producers, the board of Northern Stage is delighted to welcome Lorne Campbell as the company's new Artistic Director. Lorne is an inspirational artistic leader who has outlined an exciting creative vision for the future of Northern Stage, building positively upon the formidable legacy of Erica Whyman.  We look forward to working with Lorne in the years ahead."    

Lorne was born and raised in Edinburgh and currently lives in London.  He will take up the full time position at Northern Stage in late spring.

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