The Board of the Young Vic announced today that the artistic director David Lan will step down after leading the company for almost two decades.
David was appointed in 2000. Over the 17 years of his tenure, the Young Vic’s reputation has grown to become one of the most admired theatres in the world. It is especially celebrated for the ambition and adventurous reach of its productions which play to capacity houses, its audience acknowledged to be the most diverse in the UK. It is also known for its extensive and fully integrated outreach program and for its deep and longstanding engagement with younger theatre artists, especially directors.
David wrote the architectural brief for the 2004/6 re-development of the theatre, designed by architects Haworth Tomkins, and led the entire project including a 24 show, 32 city ‘walkabout’ season. On re-opening, the new Young Vic was named RIBA London Building of the year, was short-listed for the Stirling Prize and won many design and industry awards.
The last decade has been the most successful in the company’s history. David has consistently produced pioneering shows, nurturing the careers of younger theatre makers many of whom are now themselves running major theatres and opera houses in the UK and abroad.
At the same time, he has produced the work of some of the most influential and celebrated theatre artists of today including Peter Brook, Patrice Chereau, Luc Bondy, Ivo Van Hove, Benedict Andrews, Katie Mitchell, Richard Jones, Diane Paulus, Joe Wright and Simon Stone, inviting many of these to work in the UK for the first time.
The Young Vic has championed new ways of producing and co-producing and has established a unique series of collaborations with theatres and festivals across the UK and internationally. The scope of Young Vic productions has widened to include opera, music theatre, dance and short films.
Many Young Vic productions have gone on to great success in the West End, on Broadway and in other theatres round the world. Since winning an Olivier Award for the entire 2003 season, the Young Vic has won every major London and New York theatre award, several many times over.
David will continue as artistic director and CEO until a new artistic director is appointed towards the end of this year and will continue to take responsibility for the 2017/18 season, his last at the Young Vic, which will be announced in mid July. In the meantime Lucy Woollatt will continue to lead the company as executive director as she has done for the last seven years. David Lan said:
“There is never an easy time to slip away but I wanted to leave at a time of our greatest strength and success. The Young Vic is now admired and emulated internationally as well as loved by our audience in Waterloo, in London and across the UK. It’s the right moment for it to set off on a new journey and a new adventure.”
Chair of the Young Vic Board, Patrick McKenna, said:
“I want to thank David for all he has achieved with us over the last 17 years. David has made such a big contribution to the Young Vic success story that it’s hard to do justice to his transformative leadership. The fact that the Young Vic is currently one of the most successful independent producing theatres in the world is significantly down to David’s ability to attract the very best talent in world theatre to work here.
Thankfully, David will leave behind not only a legacy of outstanding artistic achievement, but also a great team of colleagues to take us forward under new leadership. The Young Vic’s critical reputation has never been higher, and we fill the main house almost every night. We are one of the hottest venues in London. I’m confident that this will help us to attract an exciting range of applications for the job of Artistic Director as we move on to the next phase in the life of the Young Vic.”