Chief executive of York Theatre Royal, Tom Bird, has announced that he will be leaving in early 2023.
He made the announcement today (Monday). Tom will be leaving to join the senior team of Sheffield Theatres as chief executive.
Tom has spent five years at York Theatre Royal, since being appointed in 2017.
In that time he has brought many firsts to the theatre – such as overseeing the first ever visit of the Kyiv City Ballet to the UK and York Theatre Royal’s first co-production with the National Theatre with Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights.
Though, perhaps, his time at York Theatre Royal will be most remembered for his decision to axe Berwick Kaler’s pantomime after 41 years.
The decision was made after there had been a “steady decline” in ticket sales. Many Berwick fans were infuriated by the change.
However, after the pandemic lockdowns, the new panto era began in 2021 with a production of Cinderella which featured CBeebies star Andy Day – which proved to be popular with both audiences and critics.
This year’s pantomime, All New Adventures of Peter Pan, began last week and stars CBeebies’ Maddie Moate as Tinkerbell.
In 2021, YorkMix did an interview with Tom to find out more about the effect of the pandemic on the theatre and his opinion on York’s cultural scene.
He told us that York has to become a “place where younger artists can experiment” and that “it’s a viable place to be a writer, to be an actor, to be any kind of creative.”
Today, Tom said, “York Theatre Royal has been such a special part of my life. I’m enormously grateful to everyone at this outstanding theatre, and the wider community, for their support over the last five years.”
Ann Green, chair of the theatre, said: “Having brought a new lease of life to York Theatre Royal, Tom became a champion of cultural life in York over the five years he has been in post.
“We have much to thank him for and we all wish him all the very best in his new role at Sheffield Theatres.”
For more information and upcoming events, visit the York Theatre Royal website.