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Jude Kelly CBE

Jude Kelly CBE is an award-winning theatre director and the former Artistic Director of the South Bank Centre. She has directed over 100 productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Châtalet in Paris and founded both Solent People’s Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre. Jude is an excellent host, facilitator and thought-provoking speaker on Leadership, Diversity and Cultural Matters. She argues that we should celebrate the exceptional, champion fresh partnerships and plan more for cultural change.


About Jude Kelly CBE

Jude Kelly 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. Past clients include Arsenal Regeneration, Unilever, the Eden Project, Royal Bank of Scotland, Riverside Housing, and Islington Council.  She is a dynamic and inspirational speaker. Drawing from her creative and leadership roles, she tackles complex issues with a combination of wit and wisdom.


Jude Kelly was the founding director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse. In 1997, she was awarded an OBE for her services to theatre, and in 2015 she was made a CBE in the New Year honours for services to the Arts. Jude

Jude Kelly, amongst her many successes, had 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. Jude Kelly has been a key developer in endless projects, including a piece of music theatre with Jimmy McGovern and the opera singer Willard White.

Jude left the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2002 and founded 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.

Booking Information


"Eloquent and inspiring, she did a great job"

BBC Worldwide

Jude Kelly Videos

Jude Kelly News

Apr 22, 2023

Promoting Female Leadership: The Impact of International Women's Day Speakers

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