Clwyd Theatr Cymru today (2 June 2015) announces the appointment of Tamara Harvey as their new Artistic Director. Harvey will join Clwyd Theatr Cymru in August this year.
On her appointment Tamara Harvey said: "I am thrilled to have been invited to be the artistic director of Clwyd Theatr Cymru at such an exciting moment in its history. Terry Hands has done an extraordinary job in building a family of artists and producing brilliant work for a growing loyal audience. Now, as the company moves into its fortieth year, I look forward to widening that circle: nurturing talent from Wales and beyond, and collaborating with companies and artists both near and far to ensure that this beacon of innovation on top of a hill in Mold is an inspiration for Wales, the UK and the rest of the world."
Ron Davies, Chairman, said: “The Board of Clwyd Theatr Cymru are particularly pleased to announce the appointment of Tamara Harvey as our new Artistic Director. Tamara is the ideal candidate for the next era of our development as a leading production company and theatre in the UK. She has a strong reputation amongst her peers, and brings boundless energy, vision and creativity. Tamara shares our vision to build on our position of strength as a co-commissioner and touring company in the UK and internationally, and to diversify our arts offer to make our Clwyd Theatr Cymru base a vibrant hub and principal cultural destination.”
Tamara Harvey has directed in the West End, throughout the UK and abroad, working on classic plays, new writing, musical theatre and in film. Most recently, she directed Pride and Prejudice for Sheffield Crucible Theatre and, at Hampstead Theatre, the premieres of Elephants by Rose Heiney, Hello/ Goodbye by Peter Souter and In the Vale of Health, a cycle of four plays by Simon Gray. Other world premieres include From Here to Eternity, the new musical by Tim Rice, Stuart Brayson and Bill Oakes at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Breeders at the St James Theatre andThe Contingency Plan and tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ!, both for the Bush Theatre).
Harvey was invited by Josie Rourke to be her Associate Director for her final year at the Bush Theatre in 2010-11, where Tamara directed Where’s My Seat?, five of the Sixty-Six Books and the award-winning The Kitchen Sink, the first three productions in the Bush’s new home. She is a three-time director for the 24 Hour Plays at the Old Vic and has twice been on the panel of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright. She is a board member for the National Student Drama Festival, for which she was one of the judges at this year’s Festival, a trustee of the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and is on the musical theatre panel for this year’s Kevin Spacey Foundation Artists of Choice awards.
Clwyd Theatr Cymru was originally built as a Regional Arts Centre. Created through the vision of the previous Flintshire County Council, Theatr Clwyd was opened in 1976. Located a mile from Mold town centre in North East Wales, and close to Chester, the complex incorporates five performance venues – The Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Emlyn Williams Theatre, Studio 2, multi-function Clwyd Room and Cinema – as well as a bookshop, a restaurant and three art galleries.
The theatre has had five Artistic Directors in its 39 year history: George Roman (1976-1985), Toby Robertson (1985-1992), Helena Kaut-Howson (1992-1995) and Terry Hands (1997-2015). Tim Baker has been Associate Director since 1997 and manages the highly successful Theatre for Young People programme. The theatre is co-funded by Flintshire County Council and the Arts Council of Wales.
Clwyd Theatr Cymru is the principal drama production company in Wales and attracts close to one third of the total theatre audience in Wales annually. In 1998 Clwyd Theatr Cymru won the Barclays/TMA Theatre of the Year award and in 1999 was designated a Welsh National Performing Arts Company by the Arts Council of Wales.
TAMARA HARVEY: BIOGRAPHY
Born in Botswana, Tamara Harvey learned to walk in the United States and grew up in Brighton. She realised she wanted to direct at the age of seventeen when she was accepted on an educational programme as part of the Brighton International Arts Festival, shadowing the co-directors of Noye’s Fludde. A year abroad followed, spent in Botswana and New York, where she worked variously as producer, director, lighting board op, intern, administrative associate and casting assistant. Her first production as director was in Botswana, where she produced and directed her own adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the Maitisong International Arts Festival.
Harvey returned to the UK to study at the University of Bristol, where she formed her own theatre company, Bright Angel, producing and directing Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and Laura Wade’s Sixteen Winters at the Bristol Old Vic. In London, Bright Angel produced the UK premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Something Cloudy, Something Clear and Wade’s Young Emma, both at the Finborough.
For five years after graduating, Tamara combined assistant directing in opera and theatre with her own productions, working for English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, New Kent Opera, RADA, Shakespeare’s Globe, and on theatre productions in the West End and on tour. She assisted Tony-nominated director Tim Carroll on the original production of the recently revived Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance, and also assisted Stephen Poliakoff on Sweet Panic, starring Victoria Hamilton and Jane Horrocks.
Her first major productions as director were the all-female Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe, the first UK tour of The Graduate and as co-director with Terry Johnson on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starring Christian Slater, Frances Barber and Mackenzie Crook.
Further theatre work includes Plague Over England (Finborough & Duchess); Bash (Trafalgar Studios); Whipping it Up (New Ambassadors); Educating Rita and Smash (both Menier Chocolate Factory/Theatre Royal Bath and on tour); Romeo and Juliet (Theatre of Memory at Middle Temple Hall); Dancing at Lughnasa (Birmingham Rep); Where the Mangrove Grows (Theatre 503); Who’s the Daddy? (King’s Head); Bedroom Farce (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Importance of Being Earnest (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Touch Wood (Stephen Joseph Theatre); Closer (Theatre Royal Northampton) and Tell Me On a Sunday (UK tour). Tamara is also a founder member of the Lamb Players and has directed their Much Ado About Nothing; The Merchant of Venice; Love’s Labour’s Lost and As You Like It. In 2010, Tamara cast and directed the theatre plays that form an integral part of Anonymous, the feature film by Roland Emmerich (director of Independence Day). Her ‘troupe of players’ for the film included Mark Rylance, Jasper Britton and Alex Hassell.