Sado Jirde is joined by Bernard Donoghue who was appointed Chair of its board

The two take over in mid-June from outgoing chair Liz Forgan, who leaves the post after eight years, and vice-chair Denis Burn who stepped down from the board last year.

Donoghue is the chief executive of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) and is the outgoing chair of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT). He is the Mayor of London’s Ambassador for Culture and has been a member of the UK Government’s Tourism Industry Council since 2015.

Donoghue said: “It’s a privilege to succeed Dame Liz Forgan, and I want to express my thanks, and those of the entire Bristol Old Vic family and community, for her outstanding leadership, tireless work, and advocacy over many years. We wouldn’t be in the fit and healthy position we are without her.”

Jirde is the director of Black South West Network (BSWN), a charity focused on human rights that advocates on behalf of Black and minoritised communities. She was awarded West Woman of the Year – Most Inspirational Role Model in 2019, and the African Achievers Award in 2015.

She said: “Years of experience in the racial justice sector has sparked a profound and genuine passion for the arts, particularly around the role it can play in stimulating revolutionary debates, telling untold stories, and building bridges across communities… This is a great opportunity to help the theatre build on its inclusion strategy.”

Tom Morris, Bristol Old Vic artistic director responded: “At this unique point in history, Bristol has the opportunity to rebuild its economy in a way that makes life for all in the city fairer, more representative, and more sustainable and the Theatre is committed to playing a central role in that vision. We could not imagine a better governance team to lead us towards that goal than Bernard and Sado. We are hugely lucky to have appointed them and cannot wait to continue our journey with them.”