Josie Rourke and Kate Pakenham announce departure from the Donmar Warehouse


The Donmar Warehouse’s artistic director Josie Rourke and executive producer Kate Pakenham have announced they will step down from their roles at the theatre.

Rourke, who has been artistic director, will leave in 2019, with Pakenham stepping down in June 2018.

The pair were the first female partnership to run a major London theatre, and in their six years together at the theatre, have worked on productions such as a revival of Conor McPherson’s The Weir, the Olivier Award-winning musical City of Angels, the recent all-female Shakespeare Trilogy, Kwame Kwei-Armah’s production of One Night in Miami…, and James Graham’s The Vote which was broadcast live on television the night of the 2014 general election.

On leaving the theatre, Rourke said: "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.

“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.”

Pakenham added: “The last six years working with Josie and the Donmar’s brilliant team have been hugely inspiring, and a great honour.

“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.”

Rourke’s will direct her final production at the theatre in early 2019, with the search for a new artistic director beginning later this year.

Chairman of Donmar Warehouse Projects John Browne said: "On behalf of the Board, I thank Josie and Kate for their hugely successful period of leadership.  They have continued to evolve the variety, vibrancy and quality of our creative programme.”

Amy Herzog’s play Belleville, starring Imogen Poots and James Norton is currently running at the theatre, with Peter Gill’s The York Realist opening early next month.

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