Friday, 5 December 2008

Octagon appoints a new artistic director....

Exciting news indeed. We are delighted to announce the appointment of David Thacker as the new Artistic Director; a director of national and international renown.

David Thacker will work alongside Executive Director John Blackmore, as Artistic Director of the Octagon, succeeding Mark Babych, who will be leaving the Theatre in July 2009 after ten years.

Over to David for a few words:

“The Octagon offers the perfect challenge for me at this point in my career. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with John Blackmore and the Octagon’s dedicated staff to help build on the remarkable success they have had. With Mark Babych they have laid the foundations for the Octagon to become a theatre of local, regional and national significance. I look forward to becoming part of the family of outstanding producing theatre in the North West.”

John Blackmore had this to say:

“It is a measure of how far the Octagon has travelled over the last eight years in terms of ambition, status and profile that we have attracted someone of David’s calibre and reputation. His impressive theatre record includes: running the Young Vic to great acclaim; directing for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre; and establishing professional relationships with artists of national and international standing including working closely with the late Arthur Miller. We believe this appointment marks a watershed in the Octagon’s progress to becoming a major player in British Theatre.”

Here's a bit more information about the man himself:

“Not I alone but theatre itself owes very much to David Thacker Arthur Miller on David Thacker leaving the Young Vic.

David has directed over 100 theatre productions including plays by Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Tennessee Williams and Tom Stoppard.

Notable productions include; The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare (RSC and national tour and West End), Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (RSC and international tour), The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (RSC), Coriolanus by William Shakespeare (RSC), The Last Yankee by Arthur Miller (The Young Vic and West End), Broken Glass by Arthur Miller (National Theatre and national tour and West End) - Evening Standard Award for Play of the Year, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (National Theatre, BBC) A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller (Bristol Old Vic, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and West End) An Enemy of the People (The Arthur Miller version) (The Young Vic and West End) – nominated for an Olivier Award as Director of the Year' Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen (The Young Vic and West End), Some Kind of Hero by Les Smith (The Young Vic) A Touch of the Poet by Eugene O’Neil (The Young Vic and West End) – nominated for the Kenneth Tynan Award for Outstanding Achievement' Comedians by Trevor Griffiths (The Young Vic) Cabaret by Joe Masteroff, Fred Ebb and John Kander (The Duke’s Playhouse, Lancaster)

Theatres: He has worked at eight producing theatres including the Royal Shakespeare Company (Director-in Residence), The Young Vic (Director), The Duke’s Playhouse, Lancaster (Theatre Director), and The National Theatre. Seven of his productions have transferred to the West End.

Awards: Olivier Awards for Best Director (Pericles) and Best Revival (Pericles) and London Fringe Awards for Best Director (Ghosts) and Best Production (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?).

Television: David is also prolific television director having directed more than 30 TV productions such as The Vice, Silent Witness, Foyle’s War and Waking the Dead as well as films such as Measure for Measure, A Doll’s House, Broken Glass, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Faith.

Actors: David has directed many outstanding actors, including: Samantha Bond, David Bradley, Piers Brosnan Hugh Bonneville, Connie Booth, Josette Bushell-Mingo, David Calder, Cheryl Campbell, Warren Clarke, Timothy Dalton, Penny Downie, Trevor Eve, Pam Ferris, Joe Fiennes, Tara Fitzgerald, Jason Flemyng, James Fox, Iain Glen, Richard Harris, Bernard Hill, Douglas Hodge, Ian Hogg, Ewan Hooper, Geraldine James, Michael Kitchen, Estelle Kohler, Margot Leicester, Anton Lesser, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Patrick Malahide, Helen Mirren, Warren Mitchell, Virginia McKenna, John Nettles, Clive Owen, Michael Pennington, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Tennant, John Thaw and Zoe Wannamaker.
DirectorsDavid has worked alongside directors such as Michael Attenborough, Sir Trevor Nunn, Sir Richard Eyre, Sir Peter Hall, Katie Mitchel, Sam Mendes, Adrian Noble, Philidda Lloyd and Max Stafford-Clark.

Writers: David has worked with writers including David Edgar, Ted Hughes, Arthur Miller, David Lodge, Ted Whitehead and Trevor Griffiths.
Phew I am exhausted just reading it and those are just the highlights!


  1. Obviously a portent of very interesting times ahead. Congratulations and God Speed

  2. Thank you for your kind words.