We’re thrilled to announce that Chris Sonnex – the former Artistic Director of the Bunker Theatre in Southwark – has been appointed as Cardboard Citizens’ Artistic Director.

Chris says of the appointment: “I’m so grateful and excited to join this incredible community. I want to make sure that Cardboard Citizens is there for the people – championing, supporting and defending – and of course, making amazing art with representation at its heart.”

The full story is below. We welcome Chris to the team!

Chris Sonnex

Full Story

Monday 16 August 2021: Cardboard Citizens is delighted to announce the appointment of Chris Sonnex as its incoming Artistic Director and joint CEO as the Company continues to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2021.

Over the past three decades, the award-winning charity has blazed a trail in the field of arts for social justice and become a national and international authority on arts and homelessness. Chris Sonnex will begin his tenure as Artistic Director and joint CEO from mid-September 2021, succeeding founding Artistic Director and joint CEO, Adrian Jackson, who stepped down at the end of July but remains an Associate Artist of the Company.

Throughout his career in theatre, Chris Sonnex has consistently championed and mentored underrepresented artists and creatives. As Artistic Director of the Bunker Theatre from 2018 to 2020, his unwavering commitment to inclusivity brought bold new voices to the stage – 90% of directors and 86% of writers programmed under his tenure identified as women – as well as first-time theatregoers to the venue, through new partnerships like The Black Ticket Project. As well as garnering critical acclaim, the theatre received significant recognition from the industry, including Best Fringe Theatre Award from The Stage, and Best Artistic Director Award from The Offies, both in 2020.

Chris began his career in theatre at the Royal Court in 2012, working first as an intern on its Theatre Local Peckham project, before joining the backstage crew team. In 2015, he was appointed Community Producer and later Artistic Associate of the Theatre’s Beyond The Court programme, a three-year residency project delivered in Tottenham and Pimlico that sought to break down barriers around engagement with theatre and to mentor the next generation of artists, creatives and sector leaders. During this time, Chris travelled regularly to Calais as an Associate Artist with Good Chance, where he helped set up the only theatre in “The Jungle” camp at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis in 2015. As a Director his work has been presented by the Almeida Theatre, the Bunker Theatre, Caravan Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Guildhall, HighTide Festival, LAMDA, Northern Stage, the Royal Court, and Synergy Theatre Project. He is currently an Associate Artist for HighTide.

Chris Sonnex, incoming Artistic Director of Cardboard Citizens, said: “This time has been difficult for many – not least for the arts, its institutions and freelancers – but also for the people who hold onto art engagement as a lifeline. Those people – often among the most at risk in our society – who see engagement in theatre as a space to feel safe, protected, and entertained. Theatre has a duty to champion, to support, and to defend – to stand up for those in society that need it. That’s what Cardboard Citizens does – theatre for social justice, with homelessness and housing instability at its epicentre – and I’m so grateful and excited to join this incredible community. I want to make sure that Cardboard Citizens is there for the people – championing, supporting and defending – and of course, making amazing art with representation at its heart. I look forward to getting started”.

Prue Skene CBE, Chair of Trustees for Cardboard Citizens, said: “We’re delighted that Chris Sonnex will be joining Cardboard Citizens as Artistic Director and Joint CEO. Through his work, at the Royal Court and the Bunker Theatre in particular, he has shown his artistic vision and strong commitment to theatre for social justice and these qualities, together with his own understanding and lived experiences of homelessness, make him the perfect person to take the Company forward into its 31st year and beyond. We’re proud that he wants to join us and we value his eagerness to work with and develop our Members, a range of other artists and our audiences. In these uncertain times it’s wonderful to have found someone who can build on Adrian Jackson’s legacy and take the Company to the next stage of its evolution”.

Questions and Press Contact

If you have any questions about the appointment, please email mail@cardboardcitizens.org.uk and we will pass them to the relevant person.

If you are a member of the press, please speak to our PR representative Jenn Reynolds – jenn@jenniferreynoldspr.co.uk / +44 7736 84 22 37