Simon Godwin leaves National Theatre for US-based Shakespeare Theatre Company

Simon Godwin. Photo: Johan Persson
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National Theatre associate director Simon Godwin is leaving to become artistic director of US-based the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

He will succeed Michael Kahn, taking up the role on August 1, 2019. However, he will begin work immediately with the existing artistic team to plan the 2019/20 season.

Godwin has previously been associate director at the Royal Court in London and at the Bristol Old Vic.

His forthcoming production of Antony and Cleopatra, starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, opens at the National later this year.

He will also direct Timon of Athens at the Royal Shakespeare Company starring Kathryn Hunter in December.

Previous credits include Hamlet, starring Paapa Essiedu, which played at the Kennedy Center in May 2018.

STC chair Michael Klein said: “Simon is widely regarded as a star of the next generation of artistic leadership. He was chosen after a nine-month global search, from a broadly diverse pool of candidates, because of his artistic excellence and proven ability to conceptualise and curate bold, energetic and innovative theatre.”

Godwin said he felt a “natural synergy with STC’s exceptional work”.

“Michael Kahn has built a strong legacy by creating one of the leading classical theatres in America and transforming the arts scene in Washington, D.C. I look forward to building on his enormous success by continuing to create high quality, exciting, inclusive and diverse theatre that welcomes all audiences,” he added.