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Kerry Michael to leave Theatre Royal Stratford East after 12 years

Kerry Michael, Theatre Royal Stratford East Kerry Michael, artistic director at Theatre Royal Stratford East
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Theatre Royal Stratford East artistic director Kerry Michael is to leave the venue at the end of 2017 after 12 years in the post.

Michael said his job had involved “supporting the next wave of artists and staff”, and that he wanted to “give someone else the opportunity to have one of the best jobs in British theatre”.

He will announce plans for what he will do when he leaves TRSE in due course.

Michael said: “We, as a company, are in a healthy, ambitious place, so now feels the right time to step aside. It’s been a total privilege to lead this theatre for over 12 years and play a part in its history and vision. I believe, at a time when as a nation we are being fed fear and suspicion in a bid to divide and rule, TRSE now more than ever needs to invest in and celebrate its complex and vibrant community, and seek out those new stories and storytellers, many of whom unfortunately continue to be ignored by the mainstream arts sector and media.”

He added that his successor would “inherit a committed and engaged board”, led by MP Margaret Hodge.

“I’m going to very much enjoy watching this important theatre that I love soar higher and higher in the years to come,” he said.

Hodge described Michael’s contribution to the venue as “simply wonderful”.

“He has relentlessly put into practice the values that underpin this unique theatre by prioritising and pursuing diversity and opportunity at every level. He leaves us with a genuinely diverse and young audience, and a great record in nurturing and developing the creative talents of young people in east London,” she added.

During his time at the venue, Michael has overseen its refurbishment and has directed shows including John Adams’ opera I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, and musical The Harder They Come, which transferred to the Barbican, the West End, Miami and Toronto.

He also directed Tanika Gupta’s Love N Stuff and a new national tour of The Who’s Tommy with a cast of 22 disabled and non-disabled actors.

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