Sally Cordwell announced as Bristol Old Vic’s interim Executive Director

19 Oct 2018

Bristol Old Vic is delighted to announce that its interim Executive Director will be Sally Cordwell, former Deputy CEO and Director of Marketing and Visitor Experience at the SS Great Britain Trust. She is currently Business Director for brand communications agency, Future Kings and will continue in this post alongside her new role.

Sally Cordwell has over 15 years’ experience in senior marketing roles in the heritage, visitor attraction, charity and public sector including the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, NHS and Arts Council England. She also holds additional roles in Bristol, including non-executive Director for St Paul’s Carnival CIC.

Sally’s interim position will be supporting Bristol Old Vic’s Senior Management team as they move into the new building and absorb the challenges of a transformed business model, which includes both a new commercial business and a heritage offer. She takes up her position on 1 Nov.

Speaking today, Sally Cordwell said: “Bristol Old Vic is a wonderful organisation that plays such an important role in the city and beyond. I’m absolutely thrilled to join the team at this exciting time and I’m looking forward to working with them to continue the incredible story. I can’t wait to start!”

Sally steps into this role as Chief Executive, Emma Stenning leaves Bristol Old Vic after almost 10 years in post, leading the organisation through its multi-million pound redevelopment, which completed on 24 Sep, on time and on budget. Emma moves to Toronto in November to become Executive Director of Soulpepper Theatre Company.

Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris said:

“As we say farewell to the brilliant Emma Stenning, we are delighted to have secured Sally Cordwell in the interim Executive Director role.  Her powerful combination of cool management, strategic communications and entrepreneurial skills equip her perfectly to support our brilliant senior management team as we explore the exciting potential of the new building. She also has an instinctive grasp of the enormous potential impact that proper cultural investment would have in Bristol, which is so vital for the city to understand and develop at this time.” 

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

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