NEWS: Eden Court Theatre appoints new chief executive

Acclaimed theatre professional James Mackenzie-Blackman has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Eden Court Theatre

The board of Eden Court Theatre is delighted to announce that its new Chief Executive will be James Mackenzie-Blackman, following Colin Marr’s departure to lead The Edinburgh Playhouse after 20 years leading Scotland’s largest arts centre.

James brings a wealth of experience to the role as Chief Executive, having worked in performing arts for over 17 years. He has worked all over the world: previous posts include Commercial Director at the Lyric Hammersmith, Executive Director of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and he will be relocating from his current role as Executive Director at Sir Matthew Bourne’s award-winning company New Adventures to lead Eden Court.

James is hugely qualified for the demands of Eden Court and its creative learning arm Eden Court CREATIVE. During his six years at New Adventures he has been influential in the radically-evolving business as it grew and became part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. James also has a strong record in developing creative talent with the company’s charitable-arm, Re:Bourne.

James Mackenzie-Blackman, CEO-Designate said: “I first visited Eden Court in 2008 and was immediately struck by the unique ecology of the business which unites a first-class programme of live performance and cinema with Eden Court CREATIVE connecting the venue to the community of Inverness and the wider Highlands. It is an honour to build on Colin’s legacy and take up the leadership of Scotland’s largest arts centre.”

Jeanette Siddall CBE, Chair of New Adventures & Re:Bourne said: “We are tremendously grateful to James for all he has done for New Adventures. He is an inspirational leader, a highly skilled and talented arts professional, and a warm, supportive colleague.  We will miss him, and wish James and Eden Court every possible success for the future.”

Jane Gill, Chair of Eden Court, said: “We are delighted that the Eden Court’s role in the arts world attracted such a high quality field of applicants for the much sought-after position of Chief Executive, and so pleased James is heading north to join us. We are very much looking forward to discovering what James’ wealth of experience, talent and drive will bring to the theatre as we enter a new chapter in Eden Court’s history.”

Before James’s arrival in early 2018, Eden Court’s Interim Chief Executive will be Mike Griffiths, who takes up the role on November 1st.  Mike is an experienced arts administrator, producer and project manager with over 30 years’ experience across a number of organisations. These include Northern Stage, Almeida Theatre, Scottish Opera and Citizens Theatre.