Rupert Goold, the acclaimed Artistic Director of Headlong Theatre Company, is to replace Michael Attenborough as Artistic Director of the Almeida theatre in August.
Attenborough, who steps down from the influential Islington venue after 11 years, will programme the theatre until the end of the year, with Goold’s first production at the helm coming in January 2014.
Goold’s work will be seen at the Almeida before next year, however, as Headlong is co-producing the theatre’s May opening, Lucy Kirkwood’s drama Chimerica, and Goold will also direct the world premiere of the new musical based on Bret Easton Ellis’ best-selling novel American Psycho at the venue in the autumn.
Speaking about his latest move, Goold said: “After eight wonderful years at Headlong I’m thrilled to be joining the Almeida, with our collaborations on Chimerica and American Psycho this year it feels the perfect timing. I look forward to welcoming the best artists from here and abroad to make work in this magical theatre and building on its international reputation for theatre of risk and vision.”
Attenborough added: “I can pay Rupert no higher compliment than point to the fact that we are co-producing two shows with his company Headlong (one of which he is directing himself) during my final season up to the end of 2013. I am truly thrilled to be passing the theatre on to not only a bold and brilliant director, but someone who takes equal delight in the promotion of other artists and the same ambitious, progressive programming for which the Almeida has always been known.”
Over the last decade Goold has become one of the most talked about and acclaimed directors working in British theatre. Among the productions on which his reputation has been built are Lucy Prebble’s ENRON and The Effect, Macbeth starring Patrick Stewart, Six Characters In Search Of An Author featuring former Almeida Artistic Director Ian McDiarmid and Mike Bartlett’s Earthquakes In London.
Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chair of the Almeida Theatre Board, commented: “I am delighted to announce the Board’s appointment of Rupert Goold as the Almeida’s next Artistic Director. Rupert has an exceptional international reputation and could not be better placed to take the Almeida forward at what is a particularly exciting time for British theatre. The Almeida is thrilled that he has accepted the role and the Company are very much looking forward to welcoming him to our Islington base later this year. In due course, we very much look forward to sharing his plans with all of our supporters.”
The Almeida theatre is currently making audiences leap from their seats in delicious terror with its stage adaptation of The Turn Of The Screw, which plays until 16 March. It will be followed by the far less terrifying, far more chortle-inducing post-war comedy Before The Party, which begins its Islington run on 21 March.