Actors Touring Company (ATC) announces new artistic director

Matthew Xia

Matthew Xia

Internationally acclaimed Actors Touring Company has today announced the appointment of Matthew Xia as its new Artistic Director. Matthew will take up the position part-time in December 2018 and will be in place full-time from March 2019. He will lead alongside ATC’s Executive Director Andrew Smaje.

Matthew Xia was Associate Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester from 2014 to 2017 where his directing credits included Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods, The Bruntwood Award winning Wish List (Royal Court co-production) and April de Angelis’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Whilst at The Royal Exchange Theatre he set up OPEN EXCHANGE, an artist development scheme with over 400 next generation theatre-makers.  Prior to this he was Director in Residence at The Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and Associate Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Other recent directing credits include: Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse / Theatre Royal Stratford East); Dublin Carol (Sherman Theatre); Blue/Orange, The Sound of Yellow(Young Vic) and Sizwe Banzi Is Dead (Young Vic & Eclipse) and Suckerpunch Boom Suite (Barbican & NitroBEAT) Migration Music and Scrappers (Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse).

Before taking up his new position full time Matthew will direct the world premiere of Hannah Patterson’s Eden for Hampstead Theatre Downstairs in January and a major revival of Athol Fugard’s play Blood Knot at The Orange Tree in March. He will also direct Kemp Powers’ One Night In Miami for Nottingham Playhouse opening in June.

Matthew Xia said:
“It’s an honour to be appointed Artistic Director of ATC. At a time when difference, identity and borders shape our experiences, ATC plays a crucial role in offering a global perspective – developing and touring innovative theatre from writers across the world. I look forward to finding and presenting new international voices to diverse communities in the UK, as well as working with cosmopolitan British writers and introducing their work to international audiences. I’m thrilled to be joining the brilliant team at ATC and leading the company into a new phase of its evolution.”

Maria Delgado
, Chair of ATC said :
“We are delighted to welcome Matthew Xia as the new Artistic Director of ATC. He brings a wealth of experience to this role, having directed original, high quality productions for a range of theatres, both in London and across the country, and engaged with different communities and with works from different cultural traditions. His vision of an international, intercultural practice, with artistic excellence and integrity at its heart, inspired the Board and we look forward to working with him.”

Actors Touring Company (ATC) makes international, contemporary theatre that travels. The company creates plays with a global perspective: activating and entertaining the audience whilst asking questions of the world around us. Placing the actor at the heart of the work, we employ a lean aesthetic which promotes environmental sustainability.

Actors Touring Company was founded by John Retallack in the late 1970’s. Its instant success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was followed by many signature productions that have toured across the world, including Richard Curtis’s adaptation of Don Quixote directed by John Retallack, Mark Ravenhill’s Handbag directed by Nick Philippou, Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Arabian Night directed by Gordon Anderson, Bola Agbaje’s Gone Too Far directed by Bijan Sheibani and David Greig’s The Events directed by Ramin Gray. In 2018, the company revived Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size in a 10th anniversary production at the Young Vic and toured another 5 productions from Madrid to Manchester, and from Hong Kong to Scarborough.