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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Kelly made South Bank's director
Jude Kelly
Jude Kelly was the West Yorkshire Playhouse's first artistic director
Theatre director Jude Kelly has been appointed the first artistic director of London's South Bank Centre.

The Liverpool-born 51-year-old will be responsible for programmes at the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery.

"I'm thrilled to be asked to plan the artistic future for one of the great art spaces of the world," she said.

Ms Kelly, who was made an OBE in 1997 for services to the theatre, takes up her post in September.

Her priorities include planning the programme for the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall in 2007, after a two-year refurbishment.

'Key player'

Ms Kelly made her name as artistic director of the Battersea Arts Centre in south London in the 1980s.

She joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1986 before becoming the first artistic director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.

Tipped at one stage as a possible director of the National Theatre, Ms Kelly has directed more than 100 productions - most recently On the Town at the London Coliseum.

She is also chair of London 2012's Cultural and Education Committee.

"I am so pleased to have such a key British cultural player to work with our team," said South Bank Centre chief executive Michael Lynch.

"Jude will work closely with me and our talented programming and curatorial teams to ensure we remain the epicentre of London's cultural life."

Stage guru Kelly leaves Playhouse
07 Dec 01 |  Entertainment



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