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Donmar Warehouse appoints Michael Longhurst as its new Artistic Director

Michael Longhurst. Photo by David Jensen.

Theatre news

THE Donmar Warehouse has announced the appointment of Michael Longhurst as its new Artistic Director from March 2019, with his first programming to begin in mid 2019.

Longhurst is an award-winning stage director. He returns to the Donmar after directing the UK premiere of Amy Herzog’s Belleville, starring James Norton and Imogen Poots, in December 2017. His acclaimed production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus at the National Theatre returned for its second run in the Olivier earlier this year.

He also directed the celebrated Chichester Festival Theatre revival of Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori which recently transferred to Hampstead Theatre, prior to a West End run later in 2018.

Longhurst’s Royal Court production of Nick Payne’s Constellations starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall transferred to the West End, winning the 2012 Evening Standard Award for Best Play. It also received four Olivier Award nominations, and ran on Broadway where it starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, who was Tony-nominated.

He also directed Gyllenhaal in his American stage debut at the Roundabout Theatre, New York in Nick Payne’s If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet.

Longhurst’s other theatre includes Gloria (Hampstead Theatre), Bad Jews (West End/Theatre Royal Bath/UK tour), They Drink It In The Congo and Carmen Disruption (Almeida Theatre), ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore and The Winter’s Tale (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), Linda, The Art of Dying, Remembrance Day (Royal Court), A Number (Nuffield/Young Vic), Cannibals (Royal Exchange, Manchester), The History Boys (Sheffield Crucible), Dealer’s Choice (Royal & Derngate), The World Of Extreme Happiness (NT Shed), Stovepipe (site-specific promenade with the National Theatre, HighTide and Bush Theatre, Sunday Times’ Top Ten Theatre Events of the Decade), Midnight Your Time (HighTide), On The Beach (Bush Theatre), On The Record and Gaudeamus (Arcola Theatre), dirty butterfly (Young Vic, winner of the Jerwood Directors Award), and Guardians (Pleasance/Theatre503, Fringe First Award).

Longhurst trained in directing at Mountview after reading Philosophy at Nottingham University. In 2015, the Evening Standard named him as one of the 1000 most influential Londoners.

Michael Longhurst said: “I saw my first show at the Donmar aged fifteen and later even slept overnight on the street in the returns queue. I am so proud to undertake the challenge of filling this amazing space with exhilarating artists and important stories and am deeply honoured to be following Josie as the new Artistic Director.”

Lord Browne, Chairman of the Donmar Warehouse Board of Directors, said: ”I am delighted that Mike has agreed to join us. He is an exceptionally talented artist and the right person to take the Donmar on the next stage of its development.”

And Josie Rourke, outgoing Artistic Director, said: “Over the past decade as an Artistic Director, I’ve had the joy of working with Mike both at the Bush, and at the Donmar. I know him to be not only one of the most gifted, original and impressive directors in the country but also a deeply kind and thoughtful leader who commands huge respect in the theatre community. I’m thrilled to know that an artist of such reputation and ability is going to take the helm at the Donmar.”

Read about Josie Rourke’s penultimate season.

Image: Michael Longhurst by David Jensen.