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Kennedy Bloomer steps down as artistic director of Hope Theatre

Bloomer is leaving to pursue a career in teaching

Kennedy Bloomer

Kennedy Bloomer has announced she is stepping down as artistic director of The Hope Theatre in Islington.

Bloomer, who took over from Matthew Parker at the burgeoning fringe venue in January last year, is leaving to pursue a career in teaching and theatre fundraising.

She said the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced theatres to close just two months into her tenure, had been "devastating".

"[It was] a real blow to the plans and future I saw for the theatre," she added. "It went from programming shows, working with brilliant artists and seeing incredible work to emergency planning for our very survival."

The 50-seat theatre opened in 2013 above the Hope and Anchor pub, originally as a sister venue of the nearby King's Head Theatre. In 2014, the Hope was taken over by Solar Plexus Productions.

Bloomer will direct her first and last in-house show in September, with details to be announced.

Jane Mayfield, chair of the board of trustees, said: "We are very sad that Kennedy will be leaving us especially as for so much of her tenure the theatre was forced to close. She did an incredible job in creating a very imaginative and innovative online platform, and her highly successful fundraising has secured the Hope's future, for which we are very grateful. She will make a terrific teacher, and we wish her all the best in her new adventures."

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