The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) has announced that Nica Burns will become the Society’s 29th President when Rosemary Squire steps down on 3 July.
Burns, co-owner and Chief Executive of Nimax Theatres Ltd, will become only the third woman in the 100 year history of SOLT to hold the position as the head of the London theatre industry. Named the fifth most important person in British theatre by industry newspaper The Stage in both 2006 and 2007, she has served on the board of SOLT since 2005 and has been a Member of the Society since 1989. Since 1984, Burns has been the director of the most prestigious live comedy awards, the Perriers, now the if.comedy awards.
Burns has made an active and high profile contribution to London theatre for more than 25 years. Between 1983 and 1989 she was Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse. In 1993, she joined Stoll Moss/Really Useful Theatres as Production Director, leaving in 2005 to create Nimax with business partner Max Weitzenhoffer. The company owns five West End theatres – the Lyric, the Apollo, the Garrick, the Duchess and the Vaudeville.
Among the acclaimed and popular shows that Burns has successfully produced are Medea (starring Fiona Shaw, directed by Deborah Warner), One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (starring Christian Slater), Swimming With Sharks (also starring Slater), Some Girl(s) (starring David Schwimmer), Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (starring Kathleen Turner), See How They Run and A Moon For The Misbegotten (starring Kevin Spacey).
Speaking about her new role as SOLT president, Burns said: “Being President of SOLT is a great honour. London is the world’s theatrical capital, a standard bearer in excellence across all art forms and a huge economic contributor to both London and the UK. We have three exciting years ahead of us in the run up to the Olympics, a change of mayor and a general election. The Society is a vital voice for the West End and I look forward to keeping the spotlight firmly on all our stages.”
Richard Pulford, Chief Executive of SOLT, commented: “Nica brings to the Presidency a wealth of experience of both production and theatre management, coupled with great enthusiasm for the role. The Society’s staff keenly look forward to working with her over the next three years. To have two female Presidents in succession shows how far the profession has come from the days when the Society was not unreasonably described as ‘an old boys’ club’.”
Squire, Executive Director of the Ambassador Theatre Group, will stay on as Vice President of SOLT for the next three years.