Lekan Lawal joins Eclipse as new Artistic Director...

Eclipse is thrilled to announce that Lekan Lawal will join the company as the new Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive. Lekan brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge from across the sector which will enable Eclipse to grow and develop its work, set ambitious targets and strengthen relationships with the artists and communities it represents.

Lekan will take up the role in January 2022 and begin the search for an Executive Director to work alongside him as joint CEO and for a new Chair of the Board and additional Trustees.

Based in Leeds, Eclipse is one of the UK’s most innovative, Black-led touring and production companies. 

Lekan Lawal is an award-winning director, and theatre maker. He’s currently Resident Director on Hamilton and an Associate Artist at Hackney Showroom. Prior to joining Eclipse, Lekan has worked as Creative Associate Director at HOME Manchester, Co-Artistic Director (Up Next) at Battersea Arts Centre, Derby Theatre (Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme) Old Vic (Old Vic 12), and the Young Vic.

He says: “Eclipse has an astonishing reputation, reach and impact on the sector. I’m grateful to the Board for giving me the opportunity to build on the important work of my predecessors. The company was built on the recognition of a need to represent, honour and elevate the stories of artists and communities that are often marginalised, a responsibility that, in the current climate, feels more vital than ever. I look forward to deepening our relationship with our new home in Leeds, empowering freelancers, engaging with innovative partners and collaborating with communities in the region, across the country and internationally."

2021 saw some exciting developments for Eclipse, currently being led by Interim Chief Executive Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp CBE. Most recently, the company collaborated with partners at the Royal Exchange, Manchester and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres to commission 19 of the most exciting Black and global majority writers from across the North and presented My White Best Friend – North to sold out audiences in Leeds and via live stream.

Tharp explains: “Eclipse’s recent performances of My White Best Friend – North have been a reminder of the essential role theatre plays in building empathy for the lived experience of others; as a Black-led theatre company, Eclipse seeks to give voice to the all too often under-represented voices of Black and global majority artists.

Theatre in the UK is still facing enormous challenges as a result of the pandemic. Yet, it is also a time of opportunity, where fresh approaches to presenting and engaging with audiences are even more vital. I’m thrilled at Lekan’s appointment as Eclipse’s new Artistic Director & Joint CEO; he is dynamic, energised, and at the same time reflective, and I feel certain that he is the perfect person to lead Eclipse into its next exciting stage of development, as we continue to bring bold and brilliant voices to the stage and engage with the communities we are committed to serving.” 

Bobsie Robinson, Acting Eclipse Chair, also commented: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Lekan to Eclipse and excited for him to get started. In recent years, Eclipse has gone through significant change, moving location to Leeds, redefining our mission, strengthening our financial resilience, and building wider networks in our new home city and beyond. We are really looking forward to Lekan building on these foundations, bringing his great passion and expertise, to guide Eclipse into its exciting next chapter and to ready the company as it prepares to tour more vital new work.”

Those potentially interested in the Executive Director or Trustee roles are encouraged to keep an eye on our website for more information as it’s shared.

Photo credit: Robert Day

Lekan Lawal joins Eclipse as new Artistic Director...