Jude Kelly OBE | Host | Facilitator | Speaker
Jude Kelly OBE Artistic Director of the South Bank Centre, she was part of London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, Jude Kelly OBE is an excellent host facilitator and thought-provoking speaker on Leadership, Diversity and Cultural Matters.
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The award-winning theatre director recently staged Leonard Bernstein's On The Town for the English National Opera and The Importance of Being Earnest with Ridiculusmus at the Barbican.
In her 26-year career, Jude Kelly OBE founded Solent People's Theatre and then Battersea Arts Centre, establishing it as a national venue. In 1986 she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company before becoming the first Artistic Director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, the country's largest regional theatre. She established the West Yorkshire Playhouse as an acknowledged centre of excellence on a local, national and international scale, developing an ever-expanding policy of access for all. She has directed over 40 productions for stage and screen and received the OBE for services to the theatre.
Amongst many successes her production of Singin’ in the Rain transferred twice to the Royal National Theatre in London and was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production in 2001. She directed Ian McKellen in The Seagull, Patrick Stewart in Johnson over Jordon, Dawn French in When We Are Married, and many other productions for stage and screen. In 1997 she was awarded the OBE for her services to the theatre. Jude Kelly is currently developing a number of projects, including a piece of music theatre with Jimmy McGovern and the opera singer Willard White.
Jude left the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2002 to found METAL where creative 'hunches' and ideas can be pursued. It involves collaborations between many art forms at an international level and developing creative projects in a number of contexts, from regeneration to creative training. Recent clients include Arsenal Regeneration, Unilever, the Eden Project, Royal Bank of Scotland, Riverside Housing, and Islington Council. Jude is actively involved in METAL’s projects whilst in her new role at the South Bank and London 2012.
Jude is much in demand as a commentator and spokesperson for the arts, having represented Britain within UNESCO on cultural matters, served on the Arts Advisory Committee for Royal Society of Arts, and jointly chaired with Lord Puttnam the Curricula Advisory Committee on Arts and Creativity. She is Chair of Culture and Education at London 2012, Chair of Common Purpose International Trust, board member of The British Council, member of the London Cultural Consortium, and Visiting Professor at Kingston University and Leeds University.