Theatre Deli announce the appointment of Ryan Harston and Nathan Geering as joint artistic directors. These Sheffield-based multidisciplinary powerhouses of creative enterprise impressed Trustees with their innovative vision for the organisation moving forward for both Deli’s central London and regional venues. Sharing the role, Nathan and Ryan will to continue to actively work outside Theatre Deli on their other projects, cultivating opportunities and ideas to further the charity and its goals.
Ryan David Harston is a South Yorkshire born and bred artist, and the artistic director of URBANconceptz a theatre and film collective. Ryan uses his creative vision and background in theatrical and digital performance to curate work internationally across multiple disciplines, and mediums, and has produced artistic productions, product launches and creative installations for companies such as Apple, Nissan Motorsports, Google and Samsung. When creating work Ryan pulls from his influences and inspirations as a working-class, streetwise individual and injects emotion, experience and equality into his work, reaching audiences in a raw, gritty and energetic way. With a professional creative career spanning 20 years Ryan has become a multi award winning artist and creative, and has worked with organisations including the National Theatre, Barbican Theatre, SKY Arts and the British Council as well as being a long-standing associate artist with CAST theatre in Doncaster. Ryan’s work has been featured on SKY One, ITV, and BBC and he has recently entered into a brand-new partnership deal with REMEDY Incorporated and YouTube.
Regarding the appointment Ryan says “I’m really excited to join Theatre Deli as joint Artistic Director, and I can’t wait to bring my artistic energy, honesty and enthusiasm to the role. This is an amazing opportunity for myself and Nathan and I hope that my presence at Theatre Deli will be fruitful and positive. It’s up to us now to utilise this opportunity and bring our A-game to the table to invest positively in the arts, artists, and communities as the new co-artistic directors of Theatre Deli… watch this space.”
Nathan Geering specialises in accessibility innovation and strives to make work that widens accessibility for both disabled and non-disabled artists and audiences. He was the artistic director of the 2017 Special Olympics Opening Ceremony which saw him bring together over 200 disabled and non-disabled artists to perform in front of a live audience of 16,000 people. His passion for innovating cutting edge technologies and accessibility within dance, theatre, music production and art has lead him to develop the multi-award winning Rationale Method of Audio Description that uses the skills of beatboxers and poets to provide a richer soundscape for people with visual impairment. Recent years have seen Nathan become a TEDx speaker, published author and multi-award winning film maker. He has featured on BBC television and worked with the likes of the National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, Wayne McGregor, British Council and the Singapore Repertory Theatre. Nathan is also an appointed commissioner of the Sheffield Race Equality Commission and champions racial equality and diversity within the arts and beyond. He continues to implement his work both nationally and internationally and strives to provide opportunities that make the arts accessible for all.
Nathan says “For the first time Theatre Deli has black artistic and creative leadership and its programming will reflect the cultural diversity of each city that our venues reside in. This appointment marks a new and exciting era for the organisation and I am really looking forward to cultivating excellence within our communities and setting new standards in accessible theatre.”
After opening and presenting work at numerous buildings in Central London, Theatre Deli came to Sheffield in the Summer of 2014 to stage an outdoor production in a park. While there, the team realised that the former Woolworths building lying empty on The Moor would make the perfect first northern venue for the company. In October 2017, Theatre Deli made the move to a former Mothercare property on Eyre Street where the company is still based today, offering a year-round theatre programme, bar, events and rehearsal space. Deli has also occupied its present City of London venue, Theatre Deli Broadgate, since 2016.
Theatre Deli empowers artists who want to change the world. The charity has been a driving force within the arts for over 10 years, supporting emerging companies whose work sits outside traditional theatre. Currently occupying venues across London and Sheffield, they work to develop diverse audiences, expand the cultural offering, and provide safe environments for artists at every stage of their career to experiment, trial and showcase new work. Theatre Deli engages with property developers to take over empty and unused spaces in order to expand resources for people to make, participate and experience art. These buildings and venues nurture and connect creative communities – both artists and audiences – providing accessible resources and services that promote sustainability and resilience in the arts, as well as presenting work that pushes boundaries and removes barriers, giving opportunity and voice to those creating outside the mainstream. Over lockdown and throughout pandemic related restrictions Theatre Deli has provided over £18,000 of support in kind to artists and charities including space, equipment and consultancy and announced a new and improved Residency Programme for 2021. It has also released a White Paper encouraging mutually beneficial partnerships between arts organisation and property developers.
Chair of the Board of Trustees Pam Fraser-Solomon said of the appointment: “Nathan and Ryan’s appointment marks the start of a new era for Theatre Deli – which was run by its founding directors until the start of 2020 and the appointment of our Executive Director David Ralf who has led us through the challenges of the last year. Our new co-artistic directors’ vision for the charity reflects and reinforces the values which have driven and sustained the charity and influenced the sector for over a decade.”
Executive Director David Ralf says: “As the inheritors of an organisation which has influenced and supported so many artists across more than a dozen venues, I’m thrilled to work with both of these inspirational leaders to expand our reach, our welcome and our creative network, so that we can offer more opportunities to artists and audiences across the UK.”
For more info see www.theatredeli.co.uk