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Southbank poaches West London’s finest

By Victoria Bell

The Southbank Centre, Europe’s largest arts complex, has appointed the Bush Theatre’s artistic director Madani Younis as creative director in succession to Jude Kelly.

In his six years at the new writing theatre, Younis won critical plaudits for exploring edgy themes and cultivating diverse writing talent and audiences with plays such as Josephine and I, a one woman show by South Londoner Cush Jumbo, and Arinzé Kene’s Misty also oversaw the second phase of the theatre’s £4.3 million capital redevelopment programme, tripling audience capacity.

As the Southbank’s creative director – a newly formed role – he will be working with Hayward Gallery director Ralph Rugoff and director of music, Gillian Moore, to create collaborations and cross- commissioned work, as well as leading individual arts strands at the venue.

Southbank Centre chief executive Elaine Bedell said he would “bring a new energy and vision”. Younis, who was born and raised in London, said his time at the Bush had been one of his “proudest achievements to date” but that he is ‘thrilled’ to be joining the Southbank team.

The 36-year-old said: “I’m looking forward to joining Elaine Bedell, Ralph and Gillian to develop impactful, forward-looking cross-artform collaborations and, as part of the wider artistic team, bringing world-class art to audiences old and new”.

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