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David Lan to step down from London’s Young Vic

David Lan. Photo: Simon Annand David Lan. Photo: Simon Annand
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David Lan is to step down as artistic director of the Young Vic after 17 years.

Lan took over the reins of the London theatre in 2000, after beginning his career as a playwright and subsequently moving into directing.

He will leave the Young Vic following the 2017/18 season.

During his tenure, Lan has overseen a major redevelopment of the theatre, with shows transferring to the West End and Broadway, including the Olivier award-winning A View from the Bridge.

He also won an Olivier award for the entire Young Vic season in 2003.

Earlier this year, the Young Vic production of Yerma won best revival and best actress, for Billie Piper, at the Olivier Awards.

Announcing his departure, Lan said: “There is never an easy time to slip away but I wanted to leave at a time of our greatest strength and success. The Young Vic is now admired and emulated internationally as well as loved by our audience in Waterloo, in London and across the UK. It’s the right moment for it to set off on a new journey and a new adventure.”

He will continue as artistic director and chief executive until a replacement is appointed at the end of this year, while Lucy Woollatt will remain in post as executive director.

He was rumoured to have applied for the National Theatre director job in 2013, a post which eventually went to Rufus Norris.

It is understood that Lan is not leaving the Young Vic directly for another role. In 2014, he was appointed artistic director of the World Trade Centre arts hub, which he took on part time ahead of its planned 2018 opening.

Young Vic chair Patrick McKenna said thanked Lan for his 17-year tenure, adding that he had made “such a big contribution to the Young Vic success story that it’s hard to do justice to his transformative leadership”.

In 2001, Lan launched plans to overhaul the South Bank venue, claiming it was “falling down”.

At the time, he said: “We can close down or we can rebuild. It won’t surprise anyone when I say we have got plans to rebuild. The Young Vic is too good an idea to give up on.”

The redesigned theatre opened in 2006.