The Donmar Warehouse’s Josie Rourke and Kate Pakenham, the first female partnership to run a London theatre, will step down from their positions as artistic director and executive producer, respectively.
Pakenham, who has been with the theatre for six years, is set to depart in June, and Rourke will conclude her eight-year tenure as artistic director in 2019.
Notable productions during their leadership include Rourke’s revival of Conor McPherson’s The Weir and associate director Robert Hastie’s production of Kevin Elyot’s My Night with Reg, both of which transferred to the West End; City of Angels, which received the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival; Coriolanus, which was broadcast live in cinemas in partnership with National Theatre Live and for which Tom Hiddleston won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor. New York transfers include Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which ran on Broadway; Privacy by James Graham at The Public Theater; The Night Alive at The Atlantic; and Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female Shakespeare Trilogy, which was seen at St. Ann’s Warehouse.
Rourke’s final show as artistic director of the Donmar will be in the first half of 2019. The search for her successor will begin later this year.
“Leading the Donmar is one of the great privileges of London theatre, and doing so in partnership with Kate Pakenham has been one of the great joys. I am so grateful for the chance to have brought new plays, new audiences and new talent to its stage,” said the artistic director in a statement. “After 12 years as an Artistic Director, here and at the Bush Theatre, I’ve been lucky to open two new theatre buildings, and work with some of the most significant voices of my generation. I was proud to be the first woman director to run a major London theatre, but I’m even prouder that the landscape has now changed beyond recognition, and forever.”
“The last six years working with Josie and the Donmar’s brilliant team have been hugely inspiring, and a great honor. I have immense gratitude and respect for the many incredible artists I’ve had the opportunity to work with to realize such a range of productions,“ commented Pakenham. “I’m confident that I’m leaving the Donmar in a strong position to support its next exciting period of growth, and will always be an avid supporter of this very special London theatre.”
The Donmar Warehouse is currently presenting Amy Herzog’s Belleville, directed by Michael Longhurst, and starring Faith Alabi, Malachi Kirby, James Norton, and Imogen Poots. Flip through photos of the show below: