We are very excited to introduce Eleanor Henderson as the newly appointed Artistic Director of Kestrel Theatre Company, who has taken up the post as of August.

Eleanor is a highly experienced director & professional actor, working for nearly a decade performing in and directing projects in a range of settings internationally and across the country (in the UK including Soho Theatre, Salisbury Playhouse, Hammersmith Lyric, West Yorkshire Playhouse). Friends of Kestrel Theatre will know El from her work over the last few years as Associate Artist, successfully co-directing the 2019 Panto, ‘Rio’s Extraordinary Christmas’ (HMP Springhill), ‘After Time’, and co-running our weekly drama club project in Springhill. We are delighted to have her on board to lead Kestrel into a new era.

Of course, this means the end of the sensational leadership of Arabella Warner. Arabella has been Artistic Director of Kestrel for 10 years and has led the organisation with relentless energy, wisdom, vision and kindness. Her impact will be felt in the lives of all those she has worked with for many years to come.

“It has been a privilege to work as Artistic Director for Kestrel Theatre over the last 10 years. I hope we have done something to engage wider public audiences and change the negative stereotypes of what people in prison are capable of achieving, while at the same time bringing some colour and laughter into the prison community. Long may the work continue.” – Arabella

“My work so far with Kestrel has been some of the great joys of my professional life. I cannot wait to build on the legacy Arabella has created in collaboration with so many talented storytellers. To me, this legacy is one of both ambition and generosity. I hope to continue to push Kestrel forward with these qualities at our core.” – El

We look forward to keeping you updated with our plans for the coming year and beyond, as Kestrel continues to thrive and grow. This is just a short update for the moment as there will be more a more extensive goodbye in our upcoming newsletter to supporters and friends.

But for now, even though these words are not enough –  Arabella, thank you. You will be so enormously missed.

El, welcome. We cannot wait to see what you do with Kestrel next.