Edward Hall to leave Hampstead Theatre after nine years as artistic director
Edward Hall has announced he is stepping down as artistic director of Hampstead Theatre early next year.
Hall joined the north London theatre in 2010 and will leave in the spring of 2019.
A statement confirming his departure credits him with having transformed the theatre, which he took over during a time of fading audiences and financial instability – in 2009 the theatre posted a deficit of £320,000.
Since then, the theatre has hosted more than 100 premieres. Hampstead’s most recent annual review recorded a box office income of £5.7 million.
During his tenure, Hall has also been responsible for creating its studio space, Hampstead Downstairs, and has directed productions including The Kinks musical Sunny Afternoon, Mike Bartlett’s version of Chariots of Fire and Beth Steel’s Wonderland.
However, his tenure has not been without controversy. The theatre came under fire in 2017 for not featuring any female playwrights in its autumn season, prompting more than 100 industry figures to criticise the situation in an open letter.
Hall said of his departure: “Running Hampstead has been my dream job; of course it has been tough at times but it has been personally fulfilling, rewarding and uplifting to have seen it grow so rapidly into such a stimulating and industrious place.
“In the past decade I have worked with some exceptional theatre-makers, some of them legendary figures, and have been lucky enough to support the creation of some extraordinary work.”
Hall added that his partnership with the theatre’s executive director Greg Ripley-Duggan would remain “a highlight of [his] working life”.
Chair of the board David Tyler said: “We thank [Hall] for reviving the theatre and making it a first choice destination for so many theatre-goers, particularly those looking to enjoy creative and entertaining new writing. We wish him every possible success in the future, and will miss enormously his infectious enthusiasm, his charismatic leadership and his brilliant skills as a director.”
The theatre will soon begin the recruitment process for his successor.