Attenborough to leave Almeida Theatre

After 11 years in the role, Michael Attenborough has announced that he is to step down as artistic director at the Almeida Theatre.

Attenborough described his time at the theatre as having been, ‘consistently thrilling and rewarding.’  He made the decision to leave in Spring 2013 in order to dedicate more time to other ventures, he said: ‘After running theatres for the past 32 years, I now want to concentrate solely on my directing.’

During his time at the Almeida, Attenborough has directed productions of Measure for Measure, The Mercy Seat and King Lear, which runs at the Almeida until November. He also established Almeida Projects – a creative theatre programme for young people which claims to offer ‘10,000 opportunities for young people to participate in projects led by experienced industry professionals’.

Attenborough’s programming over the past decade has seen 32 premieres of new works, which have, on average, attracted 38% new attendees to each production. He was instrumental in securing the financial security of the Almeida, after inheriting a deficit on his arrival as artistic director. By securing long-term sponsors, Attenborough has brought the Almeida out of debt.

Christopher Rodrigues, chair of the Almeida Theatre board said: ‘It has been a privilege for all of us to work with Michael. 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.

‘Michael has established the Almeida as a powerhouse of British theatre and secured its financial condition. We count ourselves immensely fortunate to have benefited from his leadership for over a decade and wish him every success in his future directorial career.’

Attenborough said of his departure: ‘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.’

Michael Attenborough presented with theatre award

Michael Attenborough has been presented with an award for Excellence in International Theatre by the International Theatre Institute.

When collecting his prize, Attenborough said: ‘I am honoured and flattered to be given this prestigious award from such a distinguished and hugely respected organisation, particularly when previous winners have included directors such as Peter Brook and Michael Grandage and the panel contains many admired theatre practitioners.’The arti

stic director of the Almeida Theatre was awarded with the honour at a luncheon held at the Tr

aveller’s Club in London. Director of the Theatre Institute, Neville Shulman presented Attenborough with the accolade.

Attenborough has been the artistic director of the Almeida Theatre for ten years. The award from the International Theatre Institute was to acknowledge Attenborough’s work to provide an international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre arts.

The director is no stranger to prestigious prizes having already secured two honorary doctorates and is also a honorary professor at the University of Sussex.