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Almeida After Attenborough

Almeida

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#1 Honoured Guest

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 03:29 PM

A lovely opportunity presents itself for someone as the Almeida seeks a new artistic director to succeed Michael Attenborough after his departure in Spring 2013. It could be a tricky role because the Almeida faces significant reductions in its Arts Council England grant over the next few years. Perhaps some people might care to share their opinions about who might be appointed and what future direction the Almeida might take...

#2 hitster

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 04:37 PM

I would guess if it is going to have it's Art Council grant reduced then the salary of the Artistic Director could be reduced accordingly so that could affect the quality of applicants. The Almeida would hopefully look for a young up and coming director, a more experienced director who maybe has run large theatres before and would like a smaller but still quality position now or even an actor/director who might star in some productions.

My ideal choice would be a young up and coming director who would have fresh ideas as an older director might have less to prove or could rehash old ideas and an actor/director might be hard to attract the quality of applicants needed as the role so stop them taking on other work so they lose out financially, this could perhaps be overcome by offering them a share of any profits for a West End transfer

#3 Epicoene

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 04:54 PM

Despite the funding cuts this is still a plum job for someone. My impression is that the Almedia has been in decline for several years and is no longer as fashionable as it once was with audiences. For that reason I think an established "name" should be given the job. Having said that I can't particularly think of anyone of that status who would obviously want it (given that the bigger NT job will be coming up next). How about someone who has directed there before: Rufus Norris for example ?

#4 Whenindisgrace

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:04 PM

It depends what you mean by 'name', of course.  I wouldn't like it to go to, say, Richard Eyre or someone of his stature.  It needs to be someone who has done some excellent things, but really is ready to move onto the next level.  Marianne Elliott, say.  Katie Mitchell could shake things up.

I agree with the comment above that the Almeida has lost the cachet it had under the old régime.  Grandage managed to keep the Donmar at the centre of things (or the centre of the excellent revivals of classic plays end of the theatre); I hope Josie Rourke can keep it up there.

#5 Lynette

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:25 PM

Hard to keep up the dynamism of the Kent/ Mc Diamid era. There was a bit of a slump but for what is basically a fringe theatre in the suburbs it is still packing a punch. It now has lovely facilities ( I'm assuming backstage is ok too ) so no need for more fund raising for capital expenditure. The grant should suffice if they can fill the house every night. I've never seen an empty seat when I've been, not always on a Sarurday.



#6 Epicoene

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:13 AM

View PostLynette, on 11 October 2012 - 10:25 PM, said:

Hard to keep up the dynamism of the Kent/ Mc Diamid era. There was a bit of a slump but for what is basically a fringe theatre in the suburbs it is still packing a punch. It now has lovely facilities ( I'm assuming backstage is ok too ) so no need for more fund raising for capital expenditure. The grant should suffice if they can fill the house every night. I've never seen an empty seat when I've been, not always on a Sarurday.

You are right, it is essentially a suburban theatre (different to the Donmar) and the audience always looks to have a high percentage of the local monied Guardian readers who inhabit Islington. So the new director should somewhat pander to that audience - I think Katie Mitchell might carry too much of a risk of box-office damage, but Deborah Warner or Marianne Elliot would be OK. Personally I'd like Howard Davies to take it but that seems wildly improbably on several counts. Richard Eyre would be terrible though unfortutaely I have seen him prowling around up there a few times.

#7 Pharaoh's number 2

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:55 AM

Richard Eyre is directing their next production, but I don't think he'll take up the directorship. Howard Davies would be wonderful- he's never run a building, has he? Or perhaps they'll go for someone younger; looking at those who've recently directed there, Jeremy Herrin (great, but he's getting lots of freelance work at the moment) or Bijan Sheibani??



#8 Honoured Guest

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:42 AM

View PostPharaoh said:

Richard Eyre is directing their next production, but I don't think he'll take up the directorship. Howard Davies would be wonderful- he's never run a building, has he? Or perhaps they'll go for someone younger; looking at those who've recently directed there, Jeremy Herrin (great, but he's getting lots of freelance work at the moment) or Bijan Sheibani??

Surely artistic directors don't run buildings, do they? That's more the executive director's role. Howard Davies was the first artistic director of the Warehouse in its RSC days, and it was very fine and exciting, although his work now has developed or matured with age and the passage of much time.

Bijan Sheibani was artistic director of ATC for several years when that company beefed up its wider educational and associated activities, not unlike the Almeida Projects, so he's used to working with a Board and an Executive Director although he wasn't programming other directors' work at ATC. Of his own productions, The House of Bernarda Alba suited the Almeida perfectly, more like the nature of the glory McDiarmid/Kent years, and some critics have commented that the Olivier is too big a theatre for his Damned by Despair...

I can't imagine Katie Mitchell as artistic director of any theatre because her own work is so individual, although its focus changes considerably over time. I could be wrong. As Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre formerly and National Theatre currently, perhaps she embeds herself in the entire artistic programme. Does anyone know?

#9 xanderl

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 10:19 AM

How about Lucy Bailey - proven directing track record and has co-run a building
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#10 armadillo

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:46 AM

Since I'm a Sarf Londoner I almost never veture that far North. So Bijan Sheibani would be great as it would mean I'd never have to suffer another of his turkeys at the National :lol:





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