Vital Xposure unveils Simon Startin as new artistic director
The actor, director and playwright Simon Startin is to be the next artistic director of the disability-led theatre company Vital Xposure, which celebrates its 10th birthday next year.
Startin, who last appeared on stage earlier this year in Tony Kushner’s The Visit, takes over from the company’s founder, Julie McNamara, in March. He has also performed recently at Shakespeare’s Globe, Arcola Theatre and Birmingham Rep, and actively campaigns for better disabled representation on stage and screen.
“There has never been a more important time for society to hear the voice of disabled artists, who have been living at the sharp end of human fragility and resilience long before the rest of the world woke up to it” Startin said. “There is an urgent need for disabled theatre makers to proudly communicate not just the disabled experience but to take that perspective to universally question the times we live in. Under my leadership, the Vital Xposure commitment to hidden voices and social justice will continue to drive our work, but we will also begin to interrogate what participatory political theatre, led by disabled people, for the benefit of all, can achieve in the 21st century.”
Vital Xposure, based in London and now an Arts Council National Portfolio company, was founded in 2011 by Julie McNamara, a disability rights campaigner as well as a playwright and director, to promote the hidden voices of disabled theatre-makers and develop new writing and touring as well as working with communities and theatres.
“Simon comes with a wealth of experience in the creative industries and a highly respected body of work both in the mainstream and in Disability-led theatre” she said of her successor. His is a uniquely imaginative voice that will bring fresh energy and ideas to the future direction of this extraordinary company. I am hugely excited and very curious to see what imaginative Disability-led leaps and bounds he will lead the company onto next”.