Jesse Jones announced as new Artistic Director at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate

Royal & Derngate, Northampton, has just announced the appointment of Jesse Jones as its new Artistic Director. In an exciting period of renewal for the venue, 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.

Simon Antrobus, Chair of Trustees of Royal & Derngate, commented:

“We met some inspiring individuals in an extremely competitive recruitment process but were especially struck by Jesse’s commitment to making theatre accessible for all. His desire to both entertain and empower Northamptonshire’s communities, to develop and support artists, and to work to improve chances for all children and young people shone through. All these attributes, along with Holly’s extensive experience, will help us to deliver on our existing plans and develop exciting new ones. I look forward to working with Jo Gordon, our Chief Executive, to support them both to do so”.

Jo Gordon, Chief Executive, added:

“Jesse is a brilliant theatremaker. He creates exceptional work for a broad range of audiences and inspires others to do the same. The collaborative approach that’s been so central to all his work speaks right to the heart of our core values here at Royal & Derngate, as does his desire to make sure that touring and regional theatre meaningfully extends to some of the hardest audiences to reach. We’re all so excited to see the energy and innovation that he’ll bring to Northampton at such an important moment for regional theatre”.