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Simon Stokes to step down as artistic director of Theatre Royal Plymouth

The director leaves the theatre after 20 years

Simon Stokes
© Steve Tanner

Simon Stokes is to step down as artistic director of Theatre Royal Plymouth, it has been announced.

Stokes has been artistic director of Theatre Royal Plymouth for 20 years, during which time he has programmed major international and national contemporary plays and won over 20 national theatre awards.

He leaves the theatre in order to 'explore new strands of 'artistic challenge and opportunity' and said: "It is with great sadness that I leave colleagues in Plymouth, where we have created together something very unusual – introducing generations of very talented writers, directors, actors, producers and other collaborators to our audiences, collectively reflecting the UK's changing world and demographic and proving that the ‘remote' and slightly forgotten far south west can also be a huge engine for national creativity.

"Having used, in my time, the same methodologies in London at the Bush Theatre and in the West End, there is a great satisfaction in having been able to put them to service in a region, with much fewer resources and opportunities, over a sustained period of time.

"I will always be a huge and heartfelt advocate for the Theatre Royal Plymouth and its vital work. And I wish my tireless and talented colleagues at the Theatre and my inspirational and convivial theatrical collaborators everywhere every continued success in the future."

Theatre Royal Plymouth chairman Nick Buckland said: "During his long service with TRP Simon has helped the theatre build an enviable national reputation for the remarkable breadth and quality of its overall programme and, in particular, for its distinctive contribution to new writing in theatre in the UK. It is a proud legacy which the theatre is determined to sustain and build on in the future."

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