Jude Kelly

Founder, WOW- Women of the World Festivals & Former Artistic Director, Southbank Centre

Biography

Jude Kelly OBE

Jude Kelly is the Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, Britain’s largest cultural institution.

She founded Solent People’s Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre, and was the Artistic Director of the York Festival and Mystery Plays. She later became the founding director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse. In 1997, she was awarded the OBE for her services to the theatre. She has directed over 100 productions including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, the English National Opera, the Châtalet in Paris and in the West End.

Jude left the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2002 to found Metal, which through its artistic laboratory spaces provides a platform where artistic hunches can be pursued in community contexts. It has creative bases in Liverpool and Southend-On-Sea.

Jude is chair of Metal, member of the London Cultural Strategy Group, and is Visiting Professor at Kingston and Leeds Universities and the Shanghai Centre for the Performing Arts. She is a member of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Board.

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