LondonNet News Headlines
03/09/01
Almeida Chiefs Seek Wider Audience
- Jonathon Kent and Ian McDiarmid throw in the towel

JONATHON KENT AND IAN McDIARMID have announced their forthcoming resignation as artistic directors of the Almeida theatre. The pair will continue until the summer of next year, leaving their jobs as artistic director Trevor Nunn quits the National theatre.

Having turned the tiny fringe venue into a theatre for world stars such as Kevin Spacey, Juliette Binoche and Liam Neesen to strut their stuff, they look like likely candidates to fill Nunn's shoes.

"An inherent truth in any artistic pursuit of this nature is that it cannot last forever," said Kent, who has obviously taken the moral of the Almeida's recently staged The Tempest to heart.

Making use of a dilapidated old building to stage Shakespeare's late tragedy while preparing to decamp to the theatre's current home in a converted Kings Cross coach station is just part of Kent and McDiarmids' unusual success story. Since the 1990s when the pair took over, the Almeida has attracted theatregoers to deepest Hackney to see Ralph Fiennes in the Gainsborough Studios, as well as attracting over 45-odd theatre awards and staging premieres from the likes of David Hare, Nicholas Wright, Edward Albee, Harold Pinter and Neil LaBute.

But the pair are determined to leave after overseeing the Almeida's return to its Islington home following major refurbishment. "It's time to go," said McDiarmid.





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