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Jesse Jones Announced as New Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Jesse Jones has been announced as the new Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate, Northampton. The theatre has also appointed to a new role, Deputy CEO (Producing and Programming), which sees Holly Gladwell join Jesse and Chief Executive Jo Gordon, as part of the leadership team.

Jesse is a founding member of the multi-award-winning company, The Wardrobe Ensemble. He has been Associate Artistic Director at Paines Plough and first worked with Royal & Derngate in 2015 when joining as Resident Assistant Director supported by a Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme bursary. In 2011 Jesse founded the Wardrobe Theatre where he was Co-Artistic Director until 2015 and is currently a trustee of Shoreditch Town Hall.

Notable directing credits include Mog the Forgetful Cat, a co-production between Royal & Derngate, the Old Vic and Wardrobe Ensemble, which is currently out on tour, West End hits Death Drop and its sequel Death Drop Back in the Habit, Sorry You’re Not a Winner for Paines Plough, and the world premiere musical adaptation of Pippi Longstocking, for Royal & Derngate and Wizard Presents. Other collaborations between Royal & Derngate and The Wardrobe Ensemble include Education, Education, Education and The Last of the Pelican Daughters. Productions for The Wardrobe Ensemble also include 1972: The Future of Sex and WINNERS. Other credits include The Wind in the Willows for The Core at Corby Cube, The Grandfathers with the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic, For the Record at Pleasance Theatre, This Perfect World for Theatre Royal Bath, Exceptional Mercy for The Old Vic, Building the Wall at The Bush Destiny at Tobacco Factory Theatres and Guttermouth, Wildbore and Scumbag for Wardrobe Theatre.

Jesse Jones said this of his appointment:

“I am filled with excitement and pride to be joining the team leading Royal & Derngate into its next phase. My connection with this wonderful organisation began when I first arrived as resident assistant director almost a decade ago on a Regional Theatre Young Directors Bursary. To now be returning in this capacity means the world to me.

One of my first memories of R&D is standing on the balcony in the foyer looking out at the building filling with patrons arriving for shows in all three auditoriums. Youth theatre members were congregating for sessions and the community choir singing to celebrate the first night of a show. Close to 2000 people would have come through the doors that night and it was obvious the massive possibility, responsibility, and potential the organisation holds.I cannot wait to take up position alongside Holly and Jo this summer. I’m excited to help throw the doors of this special place open ever wider, working alongside artists from right across the UK and further afield and inviting people from all over Northamptonshire and beyond to come together to play, sing, dance, dream – I’m looking forward to finding our voice together.”

Jesse Jones is represented by Katie Haines at The Agency (London) Limited.