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Michael Attenborough to step down as Almeida's Artistic Director

Michael Attenborough

Theatre news

TODAY (October 11, 2012) Michael Attenborough has announced that in Spring 2013 he will be stepping down as Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre – a position he has held for 11 years – in order to concentrate on his directing.

Speaking about his decision, he said:

“My 11 years as Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre have been consistently thrilling and rewarding, but I have decided that, after running theatres for the past 32 years, I now want to concentrate solely on my directing.

“I would like to place on record my immense gratitude to the superb staff at the Almeida, all of whom have played an integral part in everything we have achieved. Whoever succeeds me will find themselves blessed with a wonderful and unique theatre space, a hugely loyal audience and a Board and Staff that are second to none.”

Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chair, Almeida Theatre Board, said:

“It has been a privilege for all of us to work with Michael Attenborough. He has taken the Almeida from strength to strength locally, nationally and internationally by presenting a truly diverse programme of work of which we are all immeasurably proud.”

Attenborough’s policy for the Almeida has been based on an eclectic programme that has included thirty two premieres, including a body of work which tackled critical issues of our times, ten new versions of foreign plays, ten new plays for young people and four festivals.

Attenborough’s own productions during his 11 year tenure as Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre are King Lear (which continues until November 3, 2012), Filumena, Reasons To Be Pretty, The Knot of the Heart, Through A Glass Darkly, Measure for Measure, When the Rain Stops Falling, In a Dark Dark House, The Homecoming, Awake and Sing!, Big White Fog, There Came A Gypsy Riding, Enemies, The Late Henry Moss, Brighton Rock, Five Gold Rings and The Mercy Seat.

Other notable Almeida productions include Festen, Hedda Gabler, The Goat, Duet for One, Waste, Rope, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Ruined, Becky Shaw and A Delicate Balance. Four productions have transferred to the West End and one to Broadway.

One of Attenborough’s most notable achievements has been the establishment on his arrival of a creative programme for young people. Entitled Almeida Projects, it has developed and expanded year on year, culminating in the creation in 2008 of the Young Friends of the Almeida, with a current membership in excess of 500 young people.

During his time at the Almeida, Attenborough has been awarded two Honorary Doctorates – one from the University of Leicester and one from the University of Sussex where he is also Honorary Professor of English. In April 2012, he was presented with the Award for Excellence in International Theatre by the International Theatre Institute.