Michael Attenborough to step down as Almeida's artistic director


Michael Attenborough has announced today that he has resigned as artistic director of the Almeida to "concentrate solely on directing".

After 11 years in the role, he will step down in Spring 2013. "I have decided that, after running theatres for the past 32 years, I now want to concentrate solely on my directing," he said.

He praised the "superb staff at the Almeida", adding: "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."

Attenborough's latest play as director, King Lear starring Jonathan Pryce, opened at the Almeida in September to mixed reviews.

Notable productions during his time at the Almeida include Through A Glass Darkly, Measure for Measure and Brighton Rock.

During his time as artistic director Attenborough established a creative programme for young people - Almeida Projects - and the creation of Young Friends of the Almeida which currently has more than 500 members.

When Attenborough took over the theatre in 2002 he inherited "a sizeable accumulated deficit" which the theatre says has been eradicated. "He leaves the theatre firmly in the black," according to a statement.

During his stint in the job Attenborough oversaw 32 theatrical premieres, ten new versions of foreign plays, ten new plays for young people and four festivals.