Actor-director Robert Hastie is to succeed Daniel Evans as artistic director of Sheffield Theatres. The appointment marks a homecoming for Hastie who began his professional theatre career at Sheffield Crucible as an actor in Edward Bond’s Lear in 2005.
He will take up his new role in July, taking over from fellow actor-director Evans who is due to leave Sheffield at the end of June, after seven successful years at the helm, to take up his new role as artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre.
Born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Hastie’s most recent project was directing Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, the inaugural production in artistic director Tamara Harvey’s first season at Theatr Clywd. He is an associate director of the Donmar Warehouse, where he recently completed the first stage of the venue’s ten-year long My Mark project with Michelle Terry, who he will reunite with later this year when he directs Terry in the title role of Henry V at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
An award-winning director, Hastie is also an accomplished actor who credits include productions with the National Theatre, RSC, Cheek By Jowl and Liverpool Playhouse.
Commenting on his new job, Hastie said: “I am overjoyed to have been asked by the board of Sheffield Theatres to be their next artistic director. The Crucible, the Lyceum and the Studio together constitute one of the finest theatre complexes in Britain. Their reputation has been strengthened, under the inspired leadership of Daniel Evans and Dan Bates, as a destination for audiences both near and far who come in search of brilliant theatre and have their hopes more than fulfilled.
“As a Yorkshireman, I am hugely looking forward to contributing to the cultural life of this great city. It’s wonderful to be returning here as artistic director to lead such an exceptional team. I could not be happier or prouder.”
Evans, whose final production will be Richard Taylor’s new musical Flowers For Mrs Harris, which is due to have its world premiere at the Sheffield Crucible in May, said: “I’m truly delighted the board has appointed Rob… it’s a glorious organisation with a glorious team, and leaving the company in Rob’s hands means its future at the forefront of UK theatre is assured.”
The chair of the Sheffield Theatres board, Lord Bob Kerslake added: “Rob’s talent, his passion for the organisation and his vision for the company’s work, made him the perfect choice for the role. I am thrilled that he has agreed to join us as we embark on our next exciting chapter.”