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|Topper: 'New Energy' Needed at Hampstead Theatre
- London's only woman theatre chief sets departure date
JENNY TOPPER has resigned as artistic director of North London's Hampstead theatre. Her departure coincides with that of the Donmar's Sam Mendes, the National's Trevor Nunn, and the Almeida's longstanding double act, Jonathon Kent and Ian McDiarmid.
Like Nunn, Topper will be leaving some time in mid-2003, although she has agreed with the Hampstead Theatre Board to see the development of the new theatre through to its completion. In fact the new Hampstead will be the first stand-alone producing theatre to be built in London since the National opened in 1976.
One of the capital's few female artistic directors, Topper championed her theatre as a hot house for new writing. Under her direction 126 plays have been produced, 21 of which transferred to the West End and 18 of which toured the country. "It has been my great privilege to guide Hampstead Theatre into its new home, but it is my belief that new buildings need to be fuelled by new energy," said Topper.