Paul Kerryson
Paul Kerryson

Leicester Curve's founding artistic director Paul Kerryson has announced he will step down in December 2014.

Kerryson said today, "On the occasion of Curve's fifth birthday I would like to announce that I will be leaving Curve as artistic director at the end of next year... It has been a privilege to have played a part in the artistic vision and creation of Curve and then the incredibly exciting first five years."

Kerryson, who was artistic director of the Curve's predecessor venue the Haymarket since 1991, was heavily involved in the Curve project from the outset.

The building was originally due to be completed, with an estimated price tag of £32million, in 2005, but construction was delayed and costs mushroomed when the City Council controversially opted to spend more on the unique glass front that exposes the inner-workings of the venue. The final price tag was £61million.

The Curve opened in 2008 with a celebratory gala show called Lift Off. It's currently marking its fifth anniversary with a production of Chicago, directed by Kerryson.

His previous directing credits for the Curve include Entertaining Mr Sloane, Gypsy, Absurd Person Singular, The Light in the Piazza, The King and I (also UK tour), 42nd Street, The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

"It now feels an appropriate moment to hand on the baton to a new artistic leader," Kerryson added.

"I would like to thank the Leicester Theatre Trust, Leicester City Council and the Arts Council for their continued and invaluable support over many years, and of course, all the artists and audiences who have made it all possible. So, as Velma Kelly confidently states in our current musical success, Chicago - ‘My exit music please!'"

Fiona Allan, Curve's chief executive, said: "I feel enormously privileged to have worked with Paul for the past two-and-a-half years. His brilliant creative flair resonates throughout Curve – not just on stage where audiences are currently enjoying Chicago, but in the very fabric of the building, which he helped conceive – Paul's legacy here at Curve cannot be underestimated."

Read our Brief Encounter with Paul Kerryson