Asked at today’s press conference for the Royal Court’s 50th anniversary celebrations how he felt about leaving the theatre (See Today’s News), artistic director Ian Rickson was upbeat. He said he’d felt lucky to be on hand for “three key moments” in Court history – the explosion of “in yer face” drama in the mid-Nineties, the extended West End residency and the reopening of the refurbished Sloane Square home – as well as next year’s milestone. “What more could I do?” he asked. After two years of “consolidating” and the upcoming festivities, a new leader would, said Rickson, be “very regenerating” for the Royal Court. “You shouldn’t hang around when you run theatres,” he said. “You’ve got to pass it on.” Rickson confirmed last month that he would step down at the end of 2006 (See News, 29 Sep 2005). Chairman Anthony Burke said today that the recruitment process was now under way, with the aim of naming Rickson’s replacement in the new year. The successful candidate would start in the October/November 2006 timeframe in order to have a transition period with Rickson before taking over the helm for the 2007 season.