It has been announced that Royal Shakespeare Company Artistic Director, Gregory Doran will be taking a period of compassionate leave as Artistic Director of the RSC to care for his husband, Sir Antony Sher.

Antony has a long and celebrated association with the Company and is an RSC Honorary Associate Artist.


Gregory wrote: “I am very sorry to say that my husband, Tony Sher, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and in order to look after him, and with the agreement of the Board, I will be taking a period of compassionate leave with immediate effect. I expect to return in early 2022.

During this period RSC Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman, will take on the role of Acting Artistic Director until Gregory’s return. This arrangement has been agreed by the RSC Board, and Erica will have overall artistic responsibility as well as wider organisational accountability which she will share with Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director.

Erica has been Deputy Artistic Director since 2012 working alongside Gregory and the Artistic Programming Team on all aspects of our activity, with specific responsibilities for our approach to inclusion, new writing and The Other Place.  This work will continue in Gregory’s absence.

Nigel Hugill, RSC Chair commented: “All our thoughts are very much with Greg and Tony at this extremely difficult time.  The Board thank Erica for agreeing to take on the role of Acting Artistic Director and alongside Catherine as Executive Director, the RSC remains in very safe hands.”