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Michael Longhurst announces he will depart the Donmar Warehouse

Longhurst will complete his contract in 2024

Michael Longhurst
© Helen Maybanks

Michael Longhurst has revealed he will step down as artistic director at the Donmar Warehouse in 2024.

Longhurst, who has been in the role for five years, said today: ​​"I could not be prouder of the Donmar team and all that we've achieved across my tenure – the impact of the pandemic on our industry was devastating, but in the face of this, I am so grateful that the team rose to the challenge, not only to fundraise for and deliver an essential capital project, but to simultaneously help reopen theatres with our globally-transferring sound installation Blindness and our multi-cast Olivier Award-winning revival of Constellations in the West End.

"Thank you to all the artists and theatre makers who have been part of the journey so far. I am proud that in a time so challenging for freelancers to have enabled so many Donmar debuts, and to have continued to improve the diversity of those making work here. I am enormously grateful to my co-chief executive Henny Finch for her unwavering support and great skill throughout my tenure.

"As I approach the end of my contract, it feels like the right moment to hand over this incredible theatre - now celebrating its 30th anniversary. When I leave next year, I will do so with the company in robust financial health, in part due to the Donmar's many loyal supporters, with whose help we feel confident we can fill the gap left by the recent withdrawal of our Arts Council funding.

"I know that the Donmar will not simply survive, but thrive and continue to forge forward as an industry leader and innovator - this next chapter is a new moment and an incredible opportunity for the company's next artistic director.

"Before then, I am beyond thrilled to be honouring the 50th anniversary of Coward's death by reviving his most famous work Private Lives in the fierce intimacy of the Donmar; producing Jack Thorne's astonishingly timely play about BBC independence, and directing the long-awaited UK premiere of Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal. I look forward to announcing my final season later in the year, before pursuing new artistic challenges for myself in 2024."

Adam Kenwright, Chair of the Donmar Warehouse commented: "On behalf of the Donmar's Board, I would like to thank Michael for his inspired artistic leadership since the start of 2019. Not only has he directed and produced some of the standout work of the past few years, he also ably steered the theatre through a very challenging time, putting the Donmar at the forefront of innovation.

"Working closely with executive director Henny Finch and the brilliant Donmar team, Michael spearheaded the essential renovations of our theatre during our enforced Covid closure, ensuring when we reopened it was improved and welcoming for future audiences and artists.

"His are big shoes to fill, but I have no doubt there are fantastic candidates out there, who can continue the Donmar's commitment to staging work that thrills, engages and excites our audiences. Together with my board colleagues we will begin the recruitment process for Michael's successor in mid-February."

See the venue's newest season plans, announced today