Old Vic Executive Director To Take Up New Position at the National Theatre


Today, our Executive Director Kate Varah announces she will leave The Old Vic after 12 years to take up the position as Executive Director at the National Theatre, in spring 2022.

Of this announcement Nick Clarry, Chair of the Board, said:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the whole team at The Old Vic, I would like to thank Kate Varah, our Executive Director, for her significant contribution to the success of the theatre over the last decade. Since Matthew Warchus’ appointment as Artistic Director in 2015, Kate has worked in partnership with him to continue to build The Old Vic’s credentials as a world leading artistic powerhouse with a strong social mission.

Kate leaves us to take up the position of Executive Director at the National Theatre, an organisation that itself began life at our 200-year-old theatre before moving to the Southbank in the 1970s. We are delighted for Kate that her hard work and dedication to our sector has been recognised and that she now has the opportunity to take on this new challenge.

The Old Vic is an independent charity, with no regular public subsidy, yet our commitment to artistic excellence and transformational education and community projects remains steadfast. The pursuit of this mission has been led through the strength of the partnership between Matthew and Kate, seizing opportunities to innovate and thoughtfully navigating the challenges along the way. As The Old Vic emerges from the pandemic, it does so with a renewed focus and strength thanks to their tenacious and caring leadership during that difficult time.

As Chair, I now look forward to moving on to the theatre’s next chapter as we seek to appoint a replacement. The new Executive Director will have the opportunity to join this world class institution alongside Matthew, and the sterling wider team, to deliver on the full potential of The Old Vic over the years ahead.’

Matthew Warchus, Artistic Director said:
Kate has been an exemplary colleague and friend throughout my tenure at The Old Vic. In addition to immaculately leading the operational side of the theatre, she has also spearheaded several invaluable internal initiatives, such as the Guardians Programme, which has gone on to spread its influence through many other businesses and industries.

Kate also did titanic work during the lockdown crisis not only for The Old Vic but for the sector as a whole. It would be no exaggeration to say that The Old Vic owes its current survival largely to her immense efforts.

She will be greatly missed by us and leaves behind a tremendous legacy fuelled by her passion, compassion and extraordinary hard work. We wish her well. The National Theatre is very lucky to have her.’

The Old Vic has employed global executive search and leadership advisors, Saxton Bampfylde Ltd, to help find the new appointee.