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LATEST LONDON NEWS

POWERHOUSE OF THEATRE

By ALLEN ROBERTSON

After 11 years as the Almeida Theatre's artistic director, Michael Attenborough is stepping down to focus on directing. 

Michael Attenborough is to step down as artistic director from London's Almeida Theatre after 11 years. The 62-year-old said his time at the venue had been "consistently thrilling and rewarding." He added, "After running theatres for the past 32 years, I now want to concentrate solely on my directing."

During Attenborough's tenure, he brought the Almeida out of debt and oversaw many acclaimed productions, including 32 premieres. Notable shows include Hedda Gabler, Becky Shaw, David Eldridge's 2004 adaptation of Festen and last year's staging of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance. Four Almeida productions have transferred to the West End, while one went to Broadway.

Some of Attenborough's own productions performed at the theatre include Reasons to Be Pretty, Brighton Rock, Measure for Measure and The Mercy Seat. His current show, King Lear, starring Jonathan Pryce, runs until Nov. 3.

Christopher Rodrigues, chair of the Almeida's board, said Attenborough – the son of Lord Attenborough – had established the theatre as "a powerhouse of British theatre. … 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." He added, "Our challenge now is to secure a worthy successor for one of the most exciting roles in British theatre."