Entertainment & Arts

Sheffield theatre's Daniel Evans takes top job at Chichester

Daniel Evans Image copyright Sheffield Theatres
Image caption Daniel Evans took over as artistic director of Sheffield Theatres in 2009

Chichester Festival Theatre has announced that Sheffield Theatres' Daniel Evans is to take over next year as artistic director.

Evans will step down from his current post in June 2016 to succeed Chichester's Jonathan Church.

Evans said he was "truly delighted" to be taking on the role at the West Sussex venue.

Chichester Festival Theatre opened its doors in 1962 under the artistic leadership of Laurence Olivier.

With its distinctive Grade Two listed hexagonal structure, it is one of the largest theatres in southern England.

"Under the leadership of Jonathan Church and executive director Alan Finch, Chichester has developed into the most incredible theatrical powerhouse which has fed and nourished the local community in the South East as well as the theatre ecology throughout the UK and internationally," Evans said.

"I look forward to collaborating with the team in West Sussex to develop that work further as the organisation evolves into this next exciting chapter in its history."

Church, who leaves Chichester in September 2016 to run Australia's Sydney Theatre Company, added: "I could not be happier with this fantastic news. Daniel is a first-rate director with a real passion for theatre and I'm really pleased to be leaving Chichester Festival Theatre in such good hands.

'Great excitement'

"As someone who has lived and worked in Sheffield, I can truly appreciate everything that he has achieved there.

"Sheffield's Crucible Theatre has the only other large-scale Guthrie thrust stage in the UK, so Daniel's experience will sit wonderfully with our audience here in Chichester and be welcomed with great excitement by our staff."

Evans, who was born in 1973 in South Wales, took over as artistic director of Sheffield Theatres in 2009, and reopened the Crucible Theatre in 2010 after a £15m refurbishment.

He launched his inaugural season with a revival of An Enemy of the People with Anthony Sher. His programming included seasons of plays by David Hare, Brian Friel, Michael Frayn and Sarah Kane.

His tenure has seen the company win 10 UK Theatre Awards including best musical production (This Is My Family), best new play (Bull) and best touring production for the past three years for The Full Monty, Translations and Twelfth Night.

His production of American Buffalo with Damian Lewis this year completed a West End run at Wyndham's Theatre.

The role of artistic director of Sheffield Theatres will be advertised in January 2016.

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