In a recent interview with trade newspaper The Stage, Sir Richard Eyre effectively ruled himself out of consideration to succeed the "dream team" of Jonathan Kent and Ian McDiarmid, who finish their ten-year reign as joint artistic directors of London's Almeida Theatre in late 2002. The highly esteemed former artistic director of the National Theatre said that his blossoming film career - Iris, his film memoir the late novelist Iris Murdoch, starring Judi Dench and Kate Winslet, has just opened to great acclaim in the US - would rule out any such commitment. But few who know him are in any doubt that Eyre's heart lies in the theatre. While he is considering further film scripts, the director's most immediate project is the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, starring Liam Neeson and opening in February. In subsequent press interviews, Eyre has also admitted that he would like to be running a theatre again "in the not too distant future". With imminent vacancies at the Donmar Warehouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Hampstead Theatre as well as the Almeida, there are no shortage of opportunities. Eyre hasn't mentioned which, if any, he has his eye on, but his name has been mentioned by others in connection with the last.