Headlong has announced that Joe Hill-Gibbins is stepping down as its artistic director, less than four months after he was appointed.
In a statement, Hill-Gibbins said that following "a period of shared reflection", he and the board had decided "that now is not the right time" for his leadership of Headlong.
The board recognised that Covid-19 "has changed so many things" and said it had been reevaluating how the company should move forward.
Hill-Gibbins was announced as Jeremy Herrin’s successor in March, alongside a new chair, Donna Munday.
He said: "I was enormously excited by the prospect of becoming the next artistic director of Headlong and leading a company I have always admired. However, at exactly the moment I began my work with the company the country went into lockdown. Our industry and our society are now contending with serious new challenges.
"Both Headlong as an organisation, and myself personally, began to reflect on what our priorities and activity should be moving forward into a changing landscape. In response to this period of shared reflection, the board and I have decided that now is not the right time for me to lead Headlong."
Hill-Gibbins added: "I am grateful for the chance I’ve had to work with the board and staff of Headlong, albeit only for a short time. Everyone in the team has been inspiring and supportive, and I have no doubt that the company will be a beacon in the challenging times ahead for theatre in the UK.”
During the pandemic, Headlong has collaborated with the BBC on Unprecedented, a series of newly commissioned monologues responding to lockdown that were broadcast online and on BBC television.
The board’s statement said: "The board of Headlong is enormously grateful to Joe for his contribution to the company over the last few months. The global pandemic caused by Covid-19 has changed so many things and we have all been re-evaluating and exploring how best to react to the challenging times we find ourselves in. Joe is a brilliant and talented director and we wish him every success in the future.”