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Frantic Assembly appoints Kerry Whelan as Executive Director

Kerry Whelan

Theatre news

INTERNATIONALLY renowned theatre company Frantic Assembly has appointed Kerry Whelan as Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive.

Whelan joins Frantic Assembly from BalletBoyz Ltd and will take up his post in January 2018, working together with Artistic Director and co-founder Scott Graham to bring the company’s ambitious plans for the future to fruition.

With over twenty-five years’ experience in the cultural and creative industries, Whelan has worked as a venue manager, programmer, arts funder, producer, consultant and advisor.

Since 2006, Whelan has been Executive Director of BalletBoyz Ltd overseeing a four-fold increase in company turnover, two consecutive Arts Council England funding uplifts and a major capital project to create the company’s own studio base. In 2013 BalletBoyz was named Best Independent Company at the National Dance Awards.

Whelan produced a huge range of projects in theatre and film including UK and international tours, seasons at Sadler’s Wells, The Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Opera House and films for the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky Arts including the ground-breaking WW1 set feature film, Young Men, which won Rose D’Or and Golden Prague awards in 2017.

Kerry Whelan said: “I am thrilled to be joining Frantic Assembly, having long admired its brave and ground-breaking work. Through its stage productions, education offering and training programmes the company has become synonymous with collaborative, original, diverse and inclusive activity. I look forward to carrying on that work with Scott, the Trustees and fantastic staff team and to developing new projects and opportunities.”

Frantic Assembly’s Artistic Director Scott Graham said: “I have always been impressed by Kerry and I am absolutely thrilled that we get to bring that drive and vision into the Frantic Assembly team. These are exciting times for the company and I can’t wait for us to get started!”

Frantic Assembly’s Chair Sian Alexander said: “We are thrilled to appoint Kerry Whelan as Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive alongside Scott Graham. Kerry brings exceptional leadership skills as well as extensive experience of enabling bold and ambitious creative work. We are excited for the future of Frantic Assembly under their joint leadership.”

In 2018, Frantic Assembly will present Fatherland, a bold, ambitious show about contemporary fatherhood in all its complexities and contradictions. Created by Frantic Assembly’s Scott Graham, Karl Hyde from Underworld and playwright Simon Stephens (Punk Rock, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), this daring collage of words, music and movement will transform the Lyric Hammersmith (May 25 to 23 June 23), animated by a 13-strong cast and a multitude of voices.

2018 will also see the second UK tour of Things I Know To Be True, an international co-production with State Theatre Company South Australia, play its final two dates. Returning to the Lyric Hammersmith (January 11 to February 3), where Andrew Bovell’s play had its UK premiere during its first UK tour in 2016, Things I Know To Be True will also play Bristol Old Vic from February 6 to February 10.