Southbank appoints new artistic director

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Mark Ball is to leave his post as creative director of the Manchester International Festival (MIF) to become artistic director of the Southbank Centre.

Reporting to CEO Elaine Bedell, Ball will take overall direction of the artistic output at the Southbank, the largest arts centre in Europe.

He will be the first to have the title since Jude Kelly left three years ago. She was succeeded by a creative director, Madani Younis, who left after less than a year in October 2019.

“As we enter a new era, Mark will bring a uniting vision to our mix of music, visual art, literature and performance” Bedell said. “He has a clear and ambitious vision for the artistic future of the Southbank Centre, with excellence, digital innovation and international collaboration at its heart. Mark will join me, Misan (Misan Harriman, the Southbank board’s chair) and the rest of the team in developing an exciting new chapter for the Southbank Centre.” 

At MIF Ball has been responsible for leading the artistic programme for The Factory, the new cultural space being built in Manchester, and was previously artistic director and CEO of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), head of events and exhibitions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, an artistic director of Fierce! He is also chair of Belarus Free Theatre, currently in exile, and an advisory board member of the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. He will join the Southbank in January.


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