Page 3 Profile: Tessa Ross, theatre boss


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Tessa Ross has been announced as the next chief executive of the National Theatre. She will join the world-leading institution in April 2015 as it continues its drive to reach every corner of the UK.

So how national is the National?

The expansion of touring and National Theatre Live – which beams plays into cinemas – means more people see its productions outside London than on the South Bank. The numbers are set to increase: between September 2013 and December 2015, NT productions will visit more than 80 towns and cities.

Is she up to the job?

Not half. As the head of Film 4, she built a worldwide reputation for the channel, backing Steve McQueen’s recent Oscar and Bafta-winning 12 Years A Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, which won eight Oscars and seven Baftas, Kevin Macdonald’s Oscar-winning The Last King of Scotland and the Bafta-winning This Is England by Shane Meadows. Then there were In Bruges, Four Lions,  The Iron Lady and many, many others...

What does her new partner say about the gig?

Ross will be joined at the top by director Rufus Norris, who was full of kind words. “She is an extraordinary woman: a world-class producer, a tireless supporter and promoter of both emerging and established artists, a great manager and businesswoman,” he said. “She empowers and encourages people to their best work. Furthermore, she is and has always been a passionate believer in the National Theatre. I can’t wait to start working with her.”

Praise indeed!

It’s air-kisses all round. Ross said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining the National Theatre: one of our most iconic and significant cultural institutions and a place that I’ve loved since I was very young. Under Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr’s leadership, it has been an exceptional and inspiring home for the theatrical and creative communities, and I’m privileged to be working with Rufus to build its next chapter.” Take a bow!