On International Women’s Day, Kneehigh has announced the appointment of Michelle Carwardine-Palmer as the company’s new Executive Director, who will take up the position in April. The company is also announcing that Hedda Archbold will succeed Professor Alan Livingston as Chair of Trustees with immediate effect.
Michelle Carwardine-Palmer will continue to build on Kneehigh’s success working alongside Artistic Directors Mike Shepherd and Carl Grose. She will bring her expertise to developing new and existing partnerships across the sector, as well as growing the Company’s hugely successful national and international touring programme and continuing Kneehigh’s outstanding reputation for producing thrillingly inventive, irreverent and provocative work.
Michelle is currently the Managing Director of National Theatre Wales (NTW). Michelle joined NTW in 2012 during its second year from the Joint Chief Executive position at Salisbury Playhouse. The new role was created to lead on building a robust business in support of NTW’s growing reputation for creating exciting, new and imaginative productions in unexpected places across Wales on a wide range of scales.
Michelle will leave NTW full-time later in the year with the company in strong financial and business health, and is looking forward to leading Kneehigh’s business development on a part-time basis, as well as offering management consultancy and freelance services to the rest of the sector.
Hedda Archbold is appointed the company’s new Chair of Trustees. Hedda Archbold is founder and director of HLA Agency which provides sole representation and production partnerships for broadcasters, writers and presenters. Born in Cornwall and raised in the Netherlands, Hedda studied Film and Theatre at the Universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht, before moving to London to pursue a career in the media. Starting out at the BBC she gained a wealth of experience as a producer for independent film, an events organiser, tour producer and agent.
Current productions include Mark Kermode Live in 3D at the BFI Southbank, the Kermode on Filmpodcast, Film Stories with Simon Brew, and all-female film review show Girls On Film hosted by Anna Smith.
Hedda has an MSc in Psychoanalytic Theory and served on the Board of Trustees of the Tavistock Clinic Foundation for seven years, stepping down earlier this year. She has an enduring passion for supporting and furthering the performing arts.
Kneehigh Artistic Directors Mike Shepherd and Carl Grose said ‘We are thrilled to announce that we have two new additions to the Kneehigh team. Hedda Archbold is our new Chair of Trustees and Michelle Carwardine-Palmer is our new Executive Director. We were blown away by their passion for the company, their wit, their wisdom and their incisive knowledge of the industry. Naturally, we’re utterly delighted they’ve agreed to jump on board. We warmly welcome Hedda and Michelle and can’t wait to work together as we embark on the next exciting chapter for Kneehigh’
Michelle Carwardine-Palmer said ‘NTW has been a truly inspiring journey, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and doing it with a spirit of generosity and genuine inclusion, all of which are values that Kneehigh have championed since its inception. This is genuinely an exciting time to be co-leading one of the UK’s most successful theatre companies and I can’t wait to start working with Mike, Carl and the Kneehigh family on realising the fantastic artistic ambitions that are under development.’
Hedda Archbold said ‘I am delighted to be appointed as Kneehigh’s Chair of Trustees. I have been passionate about their work since I first encountered their glorious, vibrant shows. I love the way their strong rootedness in Cornwall informs the way they bring universal stories to audiences all over the world, and I am excited to support them in realising their ambitious and innovative plans for the future.
I relish the chance to work with Kneehigh’s Board of Trustees, the creative genius of artistic directors Mike Shepherd and Carl Grose, the committed Kneehigh team, and our incoming, visionary Executive Director Michelle Carwardine-Palmer.
Kneehigh are a UK based theatre company with a local, national and international profile. For 35 years they have created vigorous, popular and challenging theatre with joyful anarchy. Kneehigh tell stories. Based in Cornwall in breath-taking barns on the south coast they create theatre of humanity on an epic and tiny scale. Kneehigh work with an ever-changing ensemble of performers, artists, technicians, administrators, makers and musicians and are passionate about their multi-disciplined creative process. www.kneehigh.co.uk