Jermyn Street Theatre’s artistic director Gene David Kirk has announced that he will leave the London venue at the end of this year.
Kirk has served as artistic director of the Off-West End theatre for the last four years, during which time the venue has significantly increased the number of in-house productions it has staged. Earlier this year, it was recognised by The Stage as Fringe Theatre of the Year at the Stage 100 Awards.
Jermyn Street’s current associate director Anthony Biggs will step up to succeed Kirk, who will stay on in an advisory capacity as executive director to oversee a refurbishment of the auditorium and ongoing funding applications.
Kirk said: “Four years ago, the trustees asked me to take over the artistic helm at Jermyn Street Theatre, and to give it an identity as a producing theatre with a clear artistic output. I feel I have achieved that brief and it is now time for new leadership on the artistic level; someone who can identify where the theatre has come from, where it is now, and what it needs to do in order to become even more alluring to a theatre-going public deciding where to spend their well-earned money. Anthony Biggs has been named as my successor and I truly cannot think of a better person and a more well-placed individual to take the theatre on to the next level.
“My heartfelt thanks and respect must go to the incomparable Penny Horner [Jermyn Street general manager], who has been my rock at every moment over the past four years. Her stability and passion have made dreams come true. All of us at Jermyn Street Theatre now look to this next phase with a core commitment to deliver a quality of work beyond its perceived station.”
Highlights of Kirk’s tenure have included the current staging of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall, starring Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon and directed by Trevor Nunn, as well as Imogen Stubbs in Little Eyolf and the theatre’s production of Tennessee Williams’ Two- Character Play.
Kirk has programmed the first six months of 2013, while Biggs will programme the venue from that point on. Productions from January to July 2013 include a revival of Ivor Novello’s Gay’s The Word, which will be followed by Graham Greene’s The Living Room, directed by Tom Littler. In April 2013, Anthony Biggs will direct a Frederick Lonsdale’s 1920s comedy-of-manners, On Approval. The season will close with Robert Chevara’s production of In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel by Tennessee Williams.
In March 2013, Kirk will direct a New York production of The Two-Character Play by Tennessee Williams starring Amanda Plummer, after which he will moves to Los Angeles to direct a yet to be announced production with the Actors’ Company LA.