PACE and excitement were just two of the outstanding hallmarks of Philip Wilson's production of Corpse! staged at Salisbury Playhouse last October, and the director is sure to bring these qualities to his new role - as the new artistic director of the city centre theatre.

Philip will take up his new and exciting post in the autumn, succeeding Joanna Read who leaves in July. He will join executive director, Michelle Carwardine-Palmer in leading the Playhouse forward in realising its future plans.

Currently a freelance director, Philip Wilson has established himself as a highly regarded director of both classic and contemporary plays. His most recent work is a critically acclaimed production of Michael Frayn's Noises Off, currently playing at the Liverpool Playhouse, and he is already scheduled to direct the playwright's comedy, Alphabetical Order in October.

Philip is naturally thrilled with his appointment: "I am really looking forward to taking up the baton and working with the team to create richly diverse theatre of the highest quality. The Playhouse is in a tremendously exciting period of development, most notably in the imminent opening of the Tesco Community and Education space, and brand new on-site rehearsal room. Joanna Read hands on the building in an extremely healthy stage, both financially and in terms of audiences."

Jack Wills, chairman of the Playhouse board says: "Philip is an immensely talented director, and, in an incredibly strong field of applicants, stood out in terms of his enthusiasm, passion and commitment. He offers a distinctive artistic vision that will ensure the Playhouse will continue to play a leading role in theatre, in Wiltshire and beyond."