After five and a half years as Executive Director Fiona Gasper will be leaving the Royal Exchange Theatre to join John E. McGrath at Manchester International Festival as Executive Director. Her impact during her time in this iconic Manchester theatre has been hugely significant. She has steered the organisation through a major restructure including the move to a sole Artistic Directorship under Sarah Frankcom and the appointment of a new Chair of the Board, Ben Caldwell.

SarahFrankcomSarah Frankcom, Artistic Director Royal Exchange Theatre commented:
“It's been a real privilege and pleasure to work alongside Fiona taking the Royal Exchange through such an exciting period of transformation and development. The theatre that Fiona leaves behind is very different to the one she joined five years ago and I want to thank her hugely for her considerable contribution to this. I wish her great good luck in her exciting new adventure with MIF”

Fiona will remain at the Exchange full time until mid-February when she will share her time between both organisations until joining MIF permanently at the end of March. We are now recruiting for a new Executive Director. More information 

FionaGasperFiona said: 
“The Royal Exchange is a truly unique theatre and it has been an absolute pleasure to be its Executive Director for the past five and a half years. We have been through many changes during my time here and it has been hugely exciting and rewarding to work with Sarah and a brilliant staff team on that journey. The theatre is brave, bold and ambitious and Sarah’s vision and determination to push the boundaries of what kind of theatre the Exchange can be is inspiring, I look forward to seeing the company flourish. I am really thrilled to be joining John at MIF but have relished my time in helping to shape the Exchange into an organisation which is hugely relevant to theatre making in all its forms in Manchester and nationally.”

“I am delighted for Fiona and excited that her appointment will further strengthen the relationship between Manchester International Festival and the Royal Exchange Theatre. Under Fiona the last five years have been one of our most successful periods for audience numbers and recognition, and she leaves us in such a strong position to continue with our significant re-imagining of Manchester’s most iconic theatre.” Ben Caldwell, Chair of Royal Exchange Theatre Board