Notting Hill's Gate Theatre has today (28 June 2011) announced Christopher Haydon will take over as the company's artistic director from January 2012. Haydon, who is an associate with both On Theatre and the Bush, replaces Natalie Abrahami and Carrie Cracknell who announced in April they were stepping down after nearly five years in the role.

As part of the pair's final season in charge, Haydon direct David Davalos’s Wittenberg at the Gate from 24 August to 1 October.

Haydon, who studied at Cambridge, trained with Central School of Speech and Drama, the National Theatre Studio, New York's Lincoln Centre and with Cicely Berry at the RSC. He was the recipient of Chichester Festival Theatre's inaugural Heller Fellowship in 2007 and also spent a year on attachment at Salisbury Playhouse as part of the Channel Four Theatre Director's Bursary scheme.

As a director, Haydon's credits include In the Beginning for the Bush Theatre at Westminster Abbey, Pressure Drop On Theatre and Wellcome Collection, A Safe Harbour for Elizabeth Bishop at the Southbank Centre, Monsters and Notes From Underground at the Arcola, A Number at Salisbury Playhouse, Grace for British Council and On Theatre at Theatre Du Poche, Brussels. He also directed the national tour of Deep Cut for Sherman Cymru and will curate the Bush Theatre's upcoming Sixty Six Books project.

As assistant director his work includes Chichester Festival Theatre's production of Macbeth starring Patrick Stewart as well as work at Salisbury Playhouse, Soho Theatre, Oxford Playhouse and Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre.

A regular contributor to the Guardian's online theatre coverage. Haydon has also written for the Financial Times, the Scotsman and Prospect Magazine. He is co-editor of the books Conversations on Religion, Conversations on Truth and Identity and Identification.

Speaking about the appointment, Haydon said today in a press statement: "I am thrilled to be taking over at the Gate. It is a small space with limitless horizons located in one of the most exciting parts of London. I can't think of a better place to be making theatre today."

Chair of the theatre's Jonathan Hull commented: "We are delighted to announce Christopher's appointment as artistic director of the Gate Theatre. Christopher is an exciting voice in British theatre and has a proven record for creating work that is challenging, adventurous and of the highest quality.

"Christopher's bold vision for the Gate will build on a legacy set by previous artistic directors of producing innovative international theatre in our intimate Notting Hill venue."

News of Haydon's new role comes shortly before the anticipated announcement about the new leader for West London neighbour the Bush, where he is currently an associate. The Bush's artistic director Josie Rourke, with whom Haydon has collaborated on a number of projects, will succeed Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse in the new year.