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Damian Cruden to step down as artistic director of York Theatre Royal after 22 years

His final show will be a co-directed production of Swallows and Amazons

Damian Cruden
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Damian Cruden will step down as artistic director of York Theatre Royal.

Cruden, who has been at the York venue for 22 years, will leave the theatre to become the artistic director of the Shakespeare Rose Theatre project in York and Blenheim.

Speaking about his departure, Cruden said: "I feel content that the company is in a strong position with great possibilities for a fantastically innovative future. I wish the company every success in its continuing unfolding story that is York Theatre Royal. I'm looking forward to my final production, Swallows and Amazons, which is appropriately our summer family offering, a part of our programme of which I am incredibly proud."

During his tenure Cruden has been vital in developing the venue's youth theatre programme, as well as developing community outreach and creating international partnerships across the world. His production of The Railway Children also ran for four years in London and won an Olivier Award.

Executive director Tom Bird has said that Cruden's departure will not affect the venue's pantomime offering for 2019, with plans for Cruden's replacement to be announced.