Genista McIntosh will step down as executive director of the National Theatre (pictured) next spring. The key administrative position operates in close conjunction with the NT’s artistic directorship, which from April 2003 will be held by Nicholas Hytner, taking over from Trevor Nunn. The vacancy for the executive director post is being advertised in this week’s press.

McIntosh originally worked as executive director at the National for six years from 1990 to 1996. She left to take up the chief executive position at the Royal Opera House, then deeply troubled and facing a House of Commons investigation and financial meltdown from overspending ahead of a year’s closure and £214 million renovation. McIntosh added to the ROH crisis headlines in the news when she quit her position there after only four months. Shortly afterwards, she returned to her position at the National.

A spokeswoman said today that there was nothing untoward about McIntosh’s imminent departure from the South Bank. “She (McIntosh) signed a contract for two years in 1997 and now, four years later, she feels it’s time to move on,” the spokeswoman told

Trevor Nunn’s decision to leave at the end of his five-year contract as artistic director prompted intense speculation in the media and industry, particularly surrounding the six-month search for a successor, which ended in September with Hytner’s appointment (though he won’t take over until spring 2003). The NT board came under fire for not publicly advertising that position.

- by Terri Paddock