Rikki Henry to join us as BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellow

Emerging theatre director Rikki Henry is to join us in 2015 on the prestigious BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship programme.

The BBC Performing Arts Fund, a charity committed to developing new performing arts talent from across the UK, was established in 2003 and is designed to identify and support the next generation of performing arts talent. The Fellowship will allow Rikki the chance to work across all our departments.

We recently announced our opening weekend programme for May 2015, including The Funfair, the world premiere of Stockport playwright Simon Stephens’ new version of the classic play Kasimir and Karoline by Ödön von Horváth, which will be directed by our Artistic Director of Theatre Walter Meierjohann.

Further productions for 2015 will be announced in January, and working on our first year’s programme, the Fellow will be at the heart of our theatre team, contributing to our artistic planning and programming policy, as well as working with our outside collaborators.

“Rikki has an instinctive sense of theatre which led me to ask him to assist some of our best directors,” says David Lan, Artistic Director, of the Young Vic Theatre in London. “I asked him to arrange some auditions for Peter Brook’s production of The Suit at his Bouffes du Nord theatre in Paris in 2012, and he ended up assisting Peter and appearing in the show. Talent will out.”

London-based Rikki, 26, has firm ideas about what he wants to achieve with us. “I will use the Fellowship to develop, refine and extend my practice as a director,” says Rikki, who studied at the University for the Creative Arts, The Brit School, and the National Theatre Studio, and has worked at the Young Vic Theatre alongside directors including Richard Jones, Dominic Cooke, and Rufus Norris.

“My progress as a director has so far been working on a range of participation projects, on which I’ve learned the key aspects of practical theatre direction. Directing theatre is a competitive business, and becoming a fellow at HOME will enable me to take that vital step forward in my career as a theatre director, and develop work I have devised myself to see what possibilities there are for combining multi-disciplinary art-forms.”

“I’m thrilled that Rikki will be joining us next year,” says Petra Jane Tauscher, our dramaturg, “and I’m delighted we’ll be able to help him develop his many and exciting project ideas.”

But let’s leave the final word to Rikki: “I’m also very keen to see what Manchester has to offer, so I can’t wait to get started – the new year can’t come round quickly enough!”

Rikki will be writing a blog during his time with us in Manchester, so keep an eye on our website for regular updates of his progress. For more information on the BBC Performing Arts Fund, please click here.