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Rupert Goold succeeds Michael Attenborough as Almeida artistic director

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Headlong's Rupert Goold will succeed Michael Attenborough as artistic director of the Almeida Theatre in August, it has been announced. Attenborough, who has led the Almeida since 2002, steps down in the spring.

Goold said today: "After eight wonderful years at Headlong I'm thrilled to be joining the Almeida, with our collaborations on Chimerica and American Psycho this year it feels the perfect timing.

"I look forward to welcoming the best artists from here and abroad to make work in this magical theatre and building on its international reputation for theatre of risk and vision."

According to a press statement from Headlong, Goold "will continue to lead Headlong until Autumn 2013 with further work to be announced."

Headlong chairman Robin Paxton said: "Under Rupert's leadership, Headlong's reputation as the country's most exciting touring company has been secured. He has played an incredible role in the company's history and built a fantastically strong team."

Goold's credits for Headlong (formerly the Oxford Stage Company) include the Whatsonstage.com Award-nominated The Effect, as well as Earthquakes in London, the Olivier Award-winning Enron and Six Characters in Search of an Author.

For the Almeida, he has directed Stephen Adly Guirgis' The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (2008) and in December he will direct the world premiere of a new musical version of American Psycho, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik.

Prior to joining Headlong he was artistic director of the Royal and Derngate in Northampton (from 2002-05), and before that served as an associate artist at Salisbury Playhouse and as a trainee director under Sam Mendes at the Donmar Warehouse.

Michael Attenborough said of Goold's appointment: "I can pay Rupert no higher compliment than point to the fact that we are co-producing two shows with his company Headlong (one of which he is directing himself) during my final season up to the end of 2013.

"I am truly thrilled to be passing the theatre on to, not only a bold and brilliant director, but someone who takes equal delight in the promotion of other artists and the same ambitious, progressive programming for which the Almeida has always been known."

The Effect is nominated for three Whatsonstage.com Awards, winners of which will be announced at the star-studded Awards Concert on 17 February at the Palace Theatre. Click here for tickets.


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