David Gilmore, artistic director of the St James Theatre, has announced today that he will be stepping down at the end of November, along with the theatre's executive director Guy Kitchenn.
The pair, who are stepping down after two and a half years at the venue, helped found the 312-seat theatre on the site of the demolished Westminster Theatre in Victoria, which opened in September 2012.
The shows in the theatre's first year included Our Country's Good, Daddy Long Legs, Bully Boy and Scenes From A Marriage. Next year's season, which Gilmore has programmed, includes Urinetown directed by Jamie Lloyd.
Earlier in his 50-year career, David Gilmore ran two leading regional playhouses, the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton and the Watermill Theatre in Newbury. His West End credits include the original award-winning productions of Daisy Pulls It Off, Ken Ludwig comedy Lend Me a Tenor, The Hired Man and Grease, which ran for seven years in the West End.
Gilmore's other productions, at home and abroad, include plays As You Like It, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Hedda Gabler, David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross and Ben Elton's Gasping; and musicals Footloose and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance.
Gilmore and Kitchenn commented: "It has been exhilarating to be part of the creation of a new theatre for London; from building site to a fully developed and flourishing part of the West End theatrical scene. We are happy to be be leaving the St James Theatre safe in the knowledge that it has a very exciting season ahead".
Executive producer Robert Mackintosh said: "David and Guy have fulfilled the huge task of getting the St. James Theatre up and running and we couldn't have asked for two better people to do the job. I look forward to working both David and Guy again in the near future on some of their own projects".
The duo will continue the creative relationship that they have forged during the last few years with the formation of a new production company. They said: "We are both very excited about the future and have some wonderful projects we hope to bring to a wider audience, and of course hope that some of these will be seen at the St James in the future."