Hampstead announces new Chairperson

Posted on 3 September 2020.

Posted in: Announcements

Hampstead announces new Chairperson


Hampstead Theatre is delighted to announce the appointment of Irene Dorner as the new Chairperson of its Board of Directors. Dorner is also currently Chairperson of Taylor Wimpey and Control Risks (a global risk consultancy) and, until recently, Virgin Money (2018).  She also sits on the Boards of AXA, Rolls Royce, South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership and St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford.  

David Tyler, the current Chairperson will stand down on 30 September 2020 and Dorner will join in January 2021.  In the interim, the theatre will be chaired by Adam Jones, the current Chairperson of Hampstead's Finance Committee. 

Irene Dorner, incoming Chairperson of Hampstead Theatre said: 

“I am thrilled to be taking over the role of Chair of Hampstead Theatre.  The theatre has been part of my life for several years as I live only a few minutes’ walk from its doors and attend most performances.  The opportunity to get involved with a terrific team dedicated to producing new work that is original, entertaining and ambitious is very exciting and a fulfilling way for me to continue my lifelong love of theatre.  There are even more challenges than usual in our current environment but I am sure with the support of a committed board and management team we can look forward to making more world class theatre. David is a hard act to follow and I would like to thank him and the whole team for making me feel so welcome.”

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre said: 

“I look forward to building Hampstead’s future with our new Chair, Irene Dorner, who brings a breadth of experience, knowledge and love of Hampstead.  The team and I are incredibly excited to be working with her. She succeeds David Tyler who has been a magnificent chair and whose astuteness, commitment and passion leaves Hampstead transformed. I cannot thank him enough for his tireless championing of the theatre and I have enjoyed working with him hugely.”

David Tyler, current Chairperson of Hampstead Theatre said:

“Sadly, after eight years, it is time to hang up my boots at Hampstead.  I have hugely enjoyed my role at Hampstead Theatre where our outstanding team have had great artistic success and our audiences have been richly entertained consistently over the years.  Thank you to the management team and to all of my colleagues on the Board.  I am delighted to be passing the baton on to Irene who has the perfect blend of experience and personal style to guide the theatre to further success.”

Dorner takes over from David Tyler who has led the Board of Directors at Hampstead Theatre since 2012. Under his inspirational leadership, sources of income have diversified and strengthened.  Tyler has also made the theatre more sustainable, championing the reconfiguration of the foyers (2014) and the expansion of the auditorium (2019) to increase Box Office revenues.  More recently he oversaw the change in Artistic Directors, extending his tenure as Chair to see the theatre through its sixtieth season and to allow Roxana Silbert time to establish herself before his departure.  

Hampstead Theatre closed its building following UK Government advice on Monday 16 March 2020 and is currently using the Government's Job Retention Scheme. It hopes to re-open the building as soon as possible in line with Government advice. 

During lockdown, Hampstead created the #HampsteadTheatreAtHome series, where six critically acclaimed Hampstead productions were shown online for free.  The series ran from 23 March until 3 May 2020 and productions included I and You by Lauren Gunderson streamed on Instagram’s mobile video platform IGTV and, in partnership with The Guardian, Wild by Mike BartlettWonderland by Beth SteelTiger Country by Nina RaineDrawing the Line and #AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei by Howard Brenton.  #HampsteadTheatreAtHome attracted over 120,000 views from across the world. 

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