Leeds & West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic chief to leave

Ian Brown
Image caption Ian Brown is to step down from his role at the West Yorkshire Playhouse

The artistic director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse is to step down after a decade at the helm.

Ian Brown took up the role in 2002 following Jude Kelly who had been in post since the building opened in 1990.

A successor to Mr Brown has not yet been appointed and his leaving date has not been decided.

Mr Brown is is expected to remain in post until Arts Council funding for theatres and other organisations has been decided.

He was was an associate director at the Playhouse since 2000 and was appointed ahead of strong competition to take over as artistic director of West Yorkshire Playhouse.

He began his directorship with a critically acclaimed production of Hamlet starring Christopher Eccleston.

International tours

Ian Brown went on to direct successes such as Tom Courtenay in Pretending to be me, Twelfth Night, Macbeth and As you like it.

Under his guidance the Playhouse has been responsible for co-producing shows which have gone on to have life outside the venue.

Since 2002 nine shows have transferred to The 39 Steps which is still running in London's West End and most recently Othello starring Lenny Henry.

Some 32 productions have toured the UK, and a number have also gone on to tour internationally.

Ian Brown said: "It is always difficult to make the decision to step away from something of which you are extremely proud and that has been a truly amazing and enjoyable part of your life.

"I have always believed that artistic directors shouldn't stay too long; that these are jobs not for life and run on fixed term contracts for some very good reasons.

"Ten years feels about the right amount of time to have made your mark and then to let a new era in the theatre's history begin."

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