Sean Mathias has been appointed as the first artistic director of Theatre Royal Windsor where, starting in 2020, he will programme and annual summer season of new stage productions.
The first Windsor Theatre Royal Summer Season will run from May to September 2020 and will include new productions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, with further programming still to be announced.
Commenting on the news, theatre owner and impresario Bill Kenwright said: “Since I acquired Theatre Royal Windsor over twenty years ago there have been several changes in regional theatre. Most producing houses have been affected, probably none more so than Theatre Royal Windsor, which has no public subsidy whatsoever.
“As the next chapter in trying to establish Windsor Theatre Royal, again, as a major theatrical force, I’ve asked Sean to be the theatre’s artistic director for a four-month annual season. We’ve talked about it for a couple of years now – and I am really pleased to say that he has agreed to start next year. He is not only a great director but also a passionate lover of all things theatre.”
Sean Mathias is one of this country’s foremost directors. His multi-award-winning career includes productions at the National Theatre, the Kennedy Centre, Mark Taper Forum, Paris, Sidney and Cape Town, and many productions in the West End and on Broadway. In 2009/2010, he was the Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Haymarket where his legendary production of Waiting for Godot, starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, played two seasons, as well as touring the UK and internationally.
Sean Mathias said today:
“Theatre Royal Windsor is an absolute gem of a theatre and I’m delighted and honoured that Bill has invited me to helm my first summer season there. I hope to bring a company of some of our best actors together to explore and invigorate classic texts and to give audiences a dynamic experience that will put Windsor centre stage once more in our ever-changing British theatre landscape.”
Anne-Marie and Jon Woodley, who manage the Theatre Royal, added: “Sean is undoubtedly one of the UK’s finest directors, and after working with him on The Exorcist this summer, he is also an absolute joy to have around. Windsor is very lucky indeed!”
Theatre Royal Windsor is situated in the shadows of Windsor Castle and is one of the few completely unsubsidised producing theatres that operates all year round outside London. When the famous theatre was on the brink of administration in 1997, Bill Kenwright, who as a young actor in the 1960s and 70s had been hugely encouraged by John Counsell, took over the theatre’s lease. His company Bill Kenwright Ltd has been looking after the future of the venue ever since.