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St James Theatre elects not to replace artistic director

The decision echoes that made recently by the Rose Theatre, Kingston

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The St James opened in 2012

The St James Theatre has followed the example of the Rose, Kingston by electing not to appoint a new artistic director.

David Gilmore announced his decision to step down from the St James last month, and a spokesperson for the venue has confirmed that he will not be replaced.

Chief executive Robert Mackintosh will reportedly remain in his role, though executive theatre director Guy Kitchenn, who leaves at the same time as Gilmore, will also not be replaced.

Speaking to The Stage, producer Karl Sydow voiced concern at the decision.

"I thought David Gilmore did a marvellous job of programming the theatre and he and Guy did a great job of running the theatre," he said. "It concerns me that they are leaving because I've had a long and fruitful association with both of them."

The move echoes that of the Rose Theatre in Kingston, which made a similar decision when founding artistic director Stephen Unwin departed earlier this year.

Robert O'Dowd, the Rose's chief executive, said he wanted to work with a "mixed palette" of different directors instead of having an individual at the helm.

"Stephen felt he had done a good job and that the time was right to move on," he said back in July. "We don't feel an artistic director is essential to what we're trying to do now... There are a number of other theatres that have a similar model and the feedback from the industry has been very positive."

Do you think venues such as the St James and Rose need artistic directors? Let us know in the comments below...