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Unity Theatre welcomes new Interim Artistic Director to lead strategic recovery plan

3 weeks ago

Unity Theatre welcomes new Interim Artistic Director to lead strategic recovery plan
Elinor Randle. Credit: Unity Theatre

Unity Theatre proudly welcomes the award winning Elinor Randle to its executive leadership team, as Interim Artistic Director, from 25 March.

Elinor’s role, at Unity Theatre, will bring significant support to Interim CEO, Matthew Brown and Executive Director, Eleanor Mason-Sawko in the delivery of strategic Theatre recovery plan, following well documented challenges of COVID-19 and wider arts industry specific factors of recent years.

As the first female Artistic Director to join the Unity team, Elinor’s appointment represents a new energy and influence for the iconic Hope Street Venue, bringing with her a commitment to championing undiscovered and renowned local artists, as well as developing an arts and performance programme which is both financially sustainable and seasonally inspiring.

Her appointment is also a 2024 milestone for Unity Theatre, something of a stake in the ground from the theatre, to confidently confirm it remains open and focussed on rebuilding an innovative cultural offering for the Liverpool City Region.

Matthew Brown, CEO, said: 

“We are delighted to welcome Elinor to Unity Theatre. She not only represents a first female appointment in this crucial leadership role, Elinor also brings credibility and creativity to the Theatre, which I have real confidence will filter through each and every aspect of our offering. We’re looking forward to working together and shaping the next stages of the Unity journey as a strengthened team”

Elinor joins Unity Theatre whilst remaining in her role as Artistic Director at Tmesis Theatre and at the International Physical Theatre Festival. During the last 18 years, her theatre companies have toured nationally and internationally, as well as being recognised with an Award at the United Solo Festival in New York.

Unity Theatre
Picture – Unity Theatre

She is renowned as an artistic trailblazer, having worked with the English Touring Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, Rowena Gander, Box of Tricks, Surge Festival, LIPA and the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres. Off stage, Elinor has written and directed a short film: Betty and Jean, which has been selected for appearance within three international film festivals as well as featuring on Channel 4.

Liverpool, itself, is a special place for Elinor – making this Unity Theatre appointment even more of a personal and professional accolade.

Elinor said:

“Through my work with the International Physical Theatre Festival, I’ve proudly brought world class contemporary performances to the City for many years, attracting local national and international audiences, participants and artists to Liverpool – often seeing this unique and brilliant place for this first time, because of my commitment to bringing dynamic contemporary work to the city’!

“The Unity Theatre itself was my first home for theatre, here in Liverpool and was a huge source of inspiration and influence to me, as a student and young artist.

“I’ve proudly mentored upcoming artists for whom the Unity has also been their first show or performance setting. I am passionate in supporting artists, programming and developing work, so, to now be a part of this vital Liverpool institution, as Artistic Director, and to lead the continuing artistic legacy of the Theatre is a real honour.”

Her role begins with excitement and engagement around the development of a new artistic programme, and complimentary projects, which will seek to involve and engage the local theatre and wider Liverpool community.

Recognising the financial and operational challenges experienced across art organisations, and how these have directly influenced the Unity Theatre, is of huge importance to Elinor. However, the crucial role Unity plays in the City’s theatre ecology is also a positive factor, one which Elinor sees as a being exciting to harness and develop further, for the journey ahead!

For more info on the Unity Theatre click here. For the latest news in Liverpool click here.

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