West to quit as artistic director in Sheffield

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The Independent Culture

The actor Samuel West is to step down as artistic director of Sheffield Theatres after just two years, because his main stage is closing for refurbishment.

The decision was agreed between West, 40, and the Sheffield Theatres Trust board after long-awaited funding came through which will see the Crucible theatre shut for what would have been the 2007-08 season.

West, who leaves in the spring, has been invited to return as an associate artist once the work is finished.

He said the refurbishment was needed and was happening now, after Arts Council backing for the £12.5m scheme, and so it seemed logical to leave at the end of his initial two-year contract.

"It would have been wonderful if it had happened at another time but it does not make sense being an artistic director where there isn't much art going on," West said.