Hope Theatre artistic director Matthew Parker has announced his intention to step down this year.
Parker, who has run the north London venue since September 2014, said he would be leaving before the end of 2019.
He added that he had nothing lined up, but was “excited to move forward” with his career as a director.
“I’m tremendously proud of my time at the Hope, of what we have achieved and the opportunities it has afforded me, both as a director honing my craft and of our collaborations with over 100 theatre companies, new and established, and giving voice to many first time writers,” he said.
“I don’t yet know what or indeed where my next role will be but I am excited to move forward with my career as a director and artistic director and to finding a brilliant person to take the Hope forward,” he added.
Under Parker, the venue was nominated in the fringe theatre category at The Stage Awards in 2017. His credits as director at the theatre include Brimstone and Treacle, Lovesong of the Electric Bear and Her Aching Heart.
The Hope’s board praised Parker’s “dedication and ceaseless hard work” in making the theatre “a respected and loved venue both within the industry, as well as with audiences”.
“The numerous awards we have been fortunate to receive is testament to this. The Hope is today a beacon within the small-scale theatre world, with a reputation for high-quality work, while championing the use of Equity payments for every actor, which is no mean feat in a 50-seat theatre. While we will miss him greatly, we are looking forward to continuing his legacy under new leadership,” the board added.
The search for a replacement artistic director for the venue, which is above the Hope and Anchor pub in Islington, will begin in the summer.
Parker’s final season as artistic director will be announced soon.