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New Artistic Director appointed at London’s Southbank Centre

By | Published on Thursday 12 August 2021

London’s Southbank Centre has a new Artistic Director. Or it will as of next year. Mark Ball, currently Creative Director at Manchester International Festival, will take on the role in January.

In said role, the venue complex says, Ball will be responsible for “setting and delivering an overall artistic strategy and has a mandate to drive a broader UK-wide reach and expand the organisation’s digital offer”. He will also oversee “the delivery of the entire artistic programme, working with the Southbank Centre’s talented artistic team and extensive creative network to produce a dynamic and world class programme at the heart of London”.

Confirming his new job, Ball says: “I’m THRILLED to be joining the talented and passionate team at the Southbank Centre as Artistic Director. As we emerge from the pandemic it will be our shared cultural experiences that will help us unite and create a positive and optimistic future together”.

“I’m keen to build on the unique legacy of the Southbank Centre”, he adds, “which emerged from the Festival Of Britain, and build a bold, inclusive and collaborative international programme that’s seared with artistic innovation and experiment, and that excites the imaginations of artists and audiences across London and the UK”.

The Centre’s CEO Elaine Bedell, meanwhile, says: “As we enter a new era, Mark will bring a uniting vision to our mix of music, visual art, literature and performance. 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”.

The Southbank Centre hasn’t had an Artistic Director since the departure of Jude Kelly back in 2018. Following Kelly’s exit, Madani Younis was appointed as Creative Director, although he stepped down in October 2019 after less than a year in the job. Plans to hire a new Artistic Director in 2020 were then obviously put on hold once the COVID pandemic hit.