Kerry Michael
Kerry Michael
© Helen Murray 2016

Artistic director of Theatre Royal Stratford East Kerry Michael has announced he is to step down from running the theatre.

Michael took over the theatre 12 years ago and will leave at the end of 2017.

The director has overseen many of the venues successes, including its hit pantomime productions. Other world premiere productions include The Battle Of Green Lanes and The Great Extension, both by Cosh Omar; John Adams' opera I Was Looking at The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky and musicals including Takeaway, Ray Davies' Come Dancing, and The Harder They Come.

Michael said: "One of the most rewarding aspects of this job is supporting the next wave of artists and staff, so it's important I give someone else the opportunity to have one of the best jobs in British theatre.

"It's been a total privilege to lead this theatre for over 12 years and play a part in its history and vision. I believe, at a time when as a nation we are being fed fear and suspicion in a bid to divide and rule, TRSE now more than ever, needs to invest in and celebrate its complex and vibrant community, and seek out those new stories and storytellers many of whom unfortunately continue to be ignored by the mainstream arts sector and media."

Chair of the board Margaret Hodge said: "Kerry's contribution to Theatre Royal Stratford East has been simply wonderful. He has relentlessly put into practice the values that underpin this unique theatre by prioritising and pursuing diversity and opportunity at every level. He leaves us with a genuinely diverse and young audience, and a great record in nurturing and developing the creative talents of young people in East London."

Under the direction of Michael, productions at the theatre have been nominated for numerous awards and Cinderella was the first pantomime ever nominated for an Olivier Award.