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Laurie Sansom to leave National Theatre of Scotland after three years

Laurie Sansom Laurie Sansom
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Laurie Sansom is to leave the National Theatre of Scotland after three years as artistic director.

The announcement comes as the company celebrates its 10th anniversary and prepares to move into a permanent home in Glasgow.

In a statement Sansom said: “It is time for new leadership to take the company into its next decade as it moves into its new creation centre.”

Sansom, who is also chief executive, is leaving the organisation at the end of his initial three-year contract.

According to the NTS, he now “plans to explore ambitious directing opportunities in the UK and internationally”.

Lucy Mason will take up the role of interim chief executive from July and will oversee the NTS’s creation of “a senior leadership structure to take the company into its second exciting decade”.

Mason has previously worked as a performing arts adviser for the Scottish Government and was chief executive of Dance Base in Edinburgh between 2001 and 2007.

Sansom is the company’s second artistic director, and took over from founding director Vicky Featherstone.

He was previously artistic director of the Royal and Derngate in Northampton.

During his time at the NTS, Sansom has directed such major works as the James Plays trilogy and has overseen the creation of Rockvilla, a new permanent £6.5 million headquarters.

He is currently rehearsing 306 Dawn, a new piece of music theatre and the first in a trilogy of new plays commemorating the 306 men shot for desertion in the First World War.

Sansom said: “It has been a privilege to play a part in shaping the story of an amazing first decade in the life of one of the world’s great new national theatre companies but I believe it is time for new leadership to take the company into its next decade as it moves into its new creation centre.

“I can’t thank enough the artists and audiences who have made this such a rewarding and inspiring time for me.”

NTS chair Seona Reid described Sansom’s work at the company as “impactful and far-reaching”.

“Laurie is without question one of the world’s leading theatre directors. It is entirely fitting that his three years at the National Theatre of Scotland come to a close as the epic trilogy of The James Plays, which he has nurtured and directed, have been playing to Scottish and international audiences and to critical acclaim,” she added.

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