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Rachel Tackley appointed executive director at Chichester Festival Theatre

Rachel Tackley Rachel Tackley
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English Touring Theatre director Rachel Tackley has been named new executive director of Chichester Festival Theatre, becoming the first female to hold the post.

Tackley, who is the outgoing president of UK Theatre, replaces Alan Finch at Chichester. She joins recently appointed artistic director Daniel Evans at the venue and will share leadership with him when she takes up the post in September.

Tackley said the words Chichester Festival Theatre had become “by-words for excellence and ambition”.

“I look forward to working with Daniel Evans and the extraordinary team at Chichester to lead the company through its next exciting phase. I relish this opportunity to build on the company’s success and to develop the significant contribution that it makes to theatre regionally, nationally and internationally,” she added.

Finch, who leaves in September to work with Cameron Mackintosh, said Tackley would bring “genuine passion and skill for the creative producing side of the role and the executive and administrative strategy”.

The executive director role was first held by Finch. Prior to that, the only other female to lead the venue was Ruth Mackenzie, who shared the artistic director role with Martin Duncan and Steven Pimlott between 2003 and 2005.

Tackley has been chief executive and director of ETT since 2008. This year, it will tour productions of Bryony Lavery’s Brideshead Revisited and Terence Rattigan’s French Without Tears.

She has been president of UK Theatre since 2010, and leaves this position in June.

Prior to working with ETT, Tackley was chief executive of Milton Keynes Theatre and head of programming for Ambassador Theatre Group.

William Castell, chair of CFT, said he was “confident that she and our new artistic director Daniel Evans will be a formidable team to lead CFT to its next chapter”.

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