The Gate Theatre has announced the appointment of Shawab Iqbal as its new Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive. Shawab will take up the position in January 2021, succeeding Lise Bell who leaves the company to start a new position.
Shawab is currently the Executive Producer at Eclipse Theatre Company. He is also a London area Council Member for Arts Council England, as well as being a Senior Artistic Associate at the Bush Theatre. Previous to Eclipse, Shawab has worked with Boy Blue, The Theatre Royal Stratford East and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. He is also a Trustee of Tamasha Theatre.
Shawab will continue to build on the Gate’s success working alongside Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive, Ellen McDougall. He will bring a wealth of expertise to developing the company’s business strategy and will forge new and existing partnerships across the sector, as well as growing the Company’s outstanding reputation for producing bold, inventive, and provocative new work.
Shawab’s role at The Gate Theatre will involve managing and developing the financial strategy and business plan for the Theatre, in line with its artistic vision. He will also lead on the strategic management of all organisational aspects including human resources, marketing, finance, production and administration.
Shawab Iqbal said ‘Having been a huge fan of the Gate over the years, I am thrilled to now be appointed as Executive Director and joint CEO of this magnificent theatre. We continue to live in unsettling times, making its values of internationalism, representation, community and invention even more urgent and crucial. I’m excited to be working with Ellen, the Gate’s dynamic team and its board of trustees as the sector begins to enter the recovery phase from COVID-19 in the upcoming months and years. 2020 has consistently shown that we must radically reimagine how our industry operates for artists, workers and communities in all their complexities, and I look forward to the Gate unapologetically being at the forefront of this work.’
On his appointment, Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive Ellen McDougall said ‘Shawab has an incredibly impressive background working with some of the most exciting performing arts companies in the UK. He has a deep and meaningful connection with our values as a company, with our manifesto for the future, and with our commitment to rebuilding better. The Gate has always welcomed bold, visionary spirits, those unafraid of change, of artistic ambition, or of challenging the status quo. Shawab has these qualities in spades. He brings enormous expertise, vision, and compassion to the role, and I can’t wait to build the next chapter in the Gate’s future with him as our Executive Director and Joint CEO.’
Chair of the Gate’s Board of Directors, Joseph Smith said ‘As the Chair of Trustees of The Gate Theatre I couldn’t be happier in welcoming Shawab to The Gate team. We are all impressed with Shawab’s dedication to making theatre that is exciting, accessible and representative and his desire and commitment to developing and nurturing the most exciting international artists and putting them front and centre on our stage’
The Gate Theatre was founded in Notting Hill in 1979 to present ground-breaking international plays. It exists to make international theatre that is representative of our diverse local communities – from the people we collaborate with, to the stories we tell – our work investigates what it means to be alive now.