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Joe Hill-Gibbins will no longer become artistic director of Headlong

The hit director will not lead the company from this summer

Joe Hill-Gibbins
© Marc Brenner

Joe Hill-Gibbins has announced that he will not become the next artistic director of Headlong, almost four months after being appointed.

Hill-Gibbins, who was formerly deputy artistic director at the Young Vic, was expected to succeed Jeremy Herrin as the head of the award-winning company from summer 2020. His recent credits including The Tragedy of King Richard The Second at the Almeida and Absolute Hell at the National.

In a statement Hill-Gibbins said: "I was enormously excited by the prospect of becoming the next artistic director of Headlong and leading a company I have always admired. However, at exactly the moment I began my work with the company the country went into lockdown. Our industry and our society are now contending with serious new challenges. Both Headlong as an organisation, and myself personally, began to reflect on what our priorities and activity should be moving forward into a changing landscape.

"In response to this period of shared reflection, the board and I have decided that now is not the right time for me to lead Headlong. I am grateful for the chance I've had to work with the board and staff of Headlong, albeit only for a short time. Everyone in the team has been inspiring and supportive, and I have no doubt that the company will be a beacon in the challenging times ahead for theatre in the UK."

Headlong's board said: "The Board of Headlong is enormously grateful to Joe for his contribution to the company over the last few months. The global pandemic caused by Covid-19 has changed so many things and we have all been re-evaluating and exploring how best to react to the challenging times we find ourselves in. Joe is a brilliant and talented director and we wish him every success in the future."