Chris Stafford appointed Chief Executive of Curve

Chris Stafford has been appointed the new Chief Executive of Curve Leicester following Fiona Allan’s departure to lead Birmingham Hippodrome this autumn.

Curve is delighted to have found its next Chief Executive from amongst its Senior Management team, where Stafford has been working as Executive Producer for the past two years.

Stafford brings a wealth of experience to the role of Chief Executive. His two years as Executive Producer for Curve have seen him substantially grow the company’s artistic programme, as well as develop Curve’s national and international touring portfolio. All this has been achieved at a time of great insecurity for the arts, and has seen the current team deliver the company’s most successful programme both artistically and commercially.

Prior to his tenure at Curve, Stafford was Executive Director at dreamthinkspeak, where he steered the company through a process of major organisational change, overseeing the company’s work both nationally and internationally. His earlier career includes roles at Shakespeare’s Globe and Bristol Old Vic; and he has worked extensively internationally as a producer. Stafford is a 2009/10 Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme.

On accepting the role of Chief Executive, Chris Stafford said, “I am delighted to be appointed Chief Executive at Curve, and am honored to be leading our terrific theatre into the next phase of development. Leicester is an exciting, diverse and vibrant city, and I look forward to ensuring as many people as possible who live, learn and work across our region can engage with us here at Curve.

“It is an incredibly exciting and pivotal time to be undertaking this role, with the recent appointments of Nikolai Foster as Artistic Director and Commercial Director Alister de Ternant, and ambitious plans throughout all areas of our business, the scene is set for a very promising future. Under Fiona's inspired leadership Curve has developed a reputation as a major cultural organisation in the UK. I very much look forward to working with the Board and our talented team to build our next chapter.”

Chair of Leicester Theatre Trust, Philip Tasker, said “I am delighted that Chris Stafford takes up the role of Chief Executive at Curve. He not only knows the company and building intimately having been an outstanding Executive Producer for us, but also brings a wealth of broader experience. He is ideally placed to build on the work of Fiona Allan, our outgoing Chief Executive, and to lead Curve to great success in the future. The Board and I look forward to working with him and our Artistic Director, Nikolai Foster, as Curve fulfils its promise as one of the most exciting theatres in the UK."

The role of Curve’s Executive Producer will be advertised in due course.

Chris Stafford is currently the Executive Producer of Curve, where he is responsible for overseeing all Curve productions, programming all visiting companies and commissioning new work. Recently he was the lead producer on the musical adaptation of Sue Townsend's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ which played to over 17,000 people at the venue.

Prior to joining Curve, Stafford has worked extensively internationally, touring and making work in the Middle East, South Korea, Japan, Barbados, North America and Europe. He was Executive Director of dreamthinkspeak, one of the UK's leading producers of site responsive theatre, and he has produced work for Shakespeare's Globe and Bristol Old Vic where he produced Bristol Jam - the UK's first festival of improvisation.

He is a graduate from the Central School of Speech and Drama, a 2009/10 Clore Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme, and an Alumnus of the Windsor Leadership Programme.

Curve, opened in November 2008, is a spectacular state-of-the-art Leicester theatre, producing and staging world-class theatre in the heart of England. In the seven years since it opened it has become renowned for the quality of its homegrown musical productions and serious drama; and in that time, over one million people have seen a Curve production either in the Leicester home base or on tour.

Nikolai Foster joined Curve as Artistic Director in January 2015. Responsible for Curve’s Artistic strategy, his recently announced inaugural season includes A Streetcar names Desire, The Witches and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

To date, Curve has staged nearly 500 productions with over 2000 performances across its three theatre spaces. In addition to Curve Productions, which recently have included sell-out seasons of musicals The Sound of Music, Chicago and Hairspray, as well as the critically acclaimed brand new musical adaptation of Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ in spring 2015, Curve co-produces and collaborates with leading companies and artists from across the UK, including Headlong, Kneehigh, Akram Khan Company, Drew McOnie and 20 Stories High . Over past years Curve has established a reputation for opening new productions, including Kneehigh’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, New Adventures' revival of Play Without Words, Harvey Weinstein’s Finding Neverland, and opens the Disney and Cameron Mackintosh tour of Mary Poppins in October 2015.

Managed by Leicester Theatre Trust, Curve is a registered charity providing engaging world-class theatrical experiences for local communities, enabling people of all ages and backgrounds to access, participate in and learn from the arts, nurturing new and emerging talent, and creating world-class theatrical experiences. In 2015, over 20,000 will participate in either a community or participation and learning activity at Curve, and the organisation will engage with over 150 schools in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Last updated September 2015