His wife and associate director Auriol Smith will also leave at the same time. The post of artistic director will be advertised in late July. Originally founded in a room above the Orange Tree pub in Richmond, it moved to its present purpose-built premises in 1991. It was London's first purpose-built theatre-in-the-round and remains the only permanent champion of this type of work in the capital.
Amongst the playwrights whose work Walters has personally directed and championed at the Orange Tree are classics by Shakespeare, Feydeau and Brecht, as well as new plays by Martin Crimp, David Cregan, Vaclav Havel, James Saunders, Fay Weldon, Olwen Wymark and David Lewis. He was awarded the MBE in 1999 and, in 2009, was made an honorary doctor of letters by Kingston University.
For further details on the theatre, visit www.orangetheatre.co.uk .