Benedict Cumberbatch welcomes new Lamda chief Sarah Frankcom

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Sarah Frankcom has directed several plays starring Maxine Peake

Sarah Frankcom, the artistic director of Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre, is to leave to run drama school Lamda.

Frankcom has been an artistic director at the venue since 2008, staging shows including Hamlet with Maxine Peake and Don Warrington’s Death of a Salesman.

As Lamda director, she will work with figures including the drama school’s president Benedict Cumberbatch.

“Her reputation proceeds her. I am sure her leadership will be a performance to truly grip the industry,” he said.

The actor, a former student of the London school, said: “I am thrilled at the prospect of working with Sarah, who I know has a passion for finding the best talent from whatever background and increasing diversity on stage and screen.”

Under Frankcom’s tenure, the Royal Exchange earned critical acclaim and has been nominated for best regional theatre at the Stage Awards for the past two years.

Frankcom herself won best director at the 2018 UK Theatre Awards for Our Town.

She will leave to take up the new role of Lamda director in November. Before that, she will direct a new version of West Side Story in April and May.

She said: “I’m immensely proud of the strides the company has taken on and off our stages, increasing representation in both the stories we share with audiences, the artists we make work with, and the meaningful way in which we now work with, and listen to the communities we serve.”

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