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Today we have announced that Justin Audibert is to step down from his role as Artistic Director at Unicorn Theatre having been appointed as the new Artistic Director at Chichester Festival Theatre.

All at Unicorn wish him huge success for the future and offer him our heartfelt congratulations.

Justin joined Unicorn Theatre in 2018, delivering bold, exciting and acclaimed productions for young audiences, both in our theatre and as part of his pioneering digital strand Unicorn Online, which has reached over 1 million children since its launch during the pandemic. Alongside artistic success, Justin has overseen the shift in our engagement work with schools and communities, introducing co-creational processes with our stakeholders, ensuring the voices and creativity of those we serve is embedded in our practice. Among his many achievements are The Canterville Ghost; Anansi the Spider; Marvin’sBinoculars and the recent Christmas hit, Pinocchio.

Justin Audibert said:

I am so excited to be joining Kathy Bourne and the wonderful team at Chichester Festival Theatre. In addition to the magic that is created on its stages is the groundbreaking work CFT does in communities through their Learning, Education and Participation department. Being able to combine those two huge passions of mine and lead such a dynamic team makes this my dream job and I am honoured to have been appointed the new Artistic Director by Mark and the Trustees.

Whilst this is a wonderful opportunity for me it is of course tinged with the sadness of leaving the Unicorn Theatre. I want to say a huge heartfelt thank you to the entire team at the Unicorn who have given and taught me so much. It is a unique and joyful organisation and I look forward to cheering it on and watching it grow and thrive under my successor.”

Dr Vanessa Ogden, Chairperson of Unicorn Theatre, said:

On behalf of the Board of the Unicorn Theatre, I would like to thank Justin for his outstanding artistic achievements over the past four years. During his tenure as Artistic Director, the Unicorn has continued to produce exceptional, stimulating theatre for young audiences. Through the Covid 19 pandemic, Justin guided the company with commitment and imagination, creating new ways to reach a global audience through the internationally admired Unicorn Online. Justin has consistently pushed to make the theatre more inclusive, prioritising diversity at every level. He has been an inspiring leader and leaves behind a strong and resilient company to build on his legacy.

We wish him every success in his new role at Chichester Festival Theatre. The board will now commence the process of recruiting a new Artistic Director. We seek energy, talent, ambition and imagination and a commitment to continuing the highest quality writing, directing and technical innovation in theatre for children, for which the Unicorn has become so well-known. Justin has shaped an incredible opportunity for the next exceptional leader to build on in the Unicorn’s continuing evolution."

The formal process to appoint a new Artistic Director will begin shortly, with the Board expected to announce Justin’s successor in summer 2023.

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