This morning the theatre's Artistic Director, Gene David Kirk, has announced his departure at the end of this year. He is to be replaced by Jermyn Street Theatre's current Associate Director Anthony Biggs.
However, Kirk will stay on in an advisory capacity as Executive Director in order to oversee the auditorium refurbishment and the completion of ongoing funding streams and applications. Since Kirk was appointed four years ago as its first Artistic Director in ten years, Jermyn Street Theatre has been transformed from what was essentially a receiving house into one of the most exciting small producing spaces in the UK. This feat was publically recognised earlier this year, when Jermyn Street Theatre received The Stage Fringe Theatre of The Year Award 2012. During his tenure Kirk has developed a commitment to presenting both rarely performed European and American classics and vibrant new plays and musicals. This is an artistic policy that will be reinforced and fostered by Anthony Biggs. Highlights during Kirk's term have included his critically acclaimed productions of Charles Dyer's Mother Adam and Tennessee Williams's The Two-Character Play, as well as Anthony Biggs' productions of Ibsen's Little Eyolf starring Imogen Stubbs, The River Line by Charles Morgan and the UK premiere of another Ibsen play, St John's Night. In 2011 Jermyn Street Theatre was nominated for the Peter Brook Empty Space Award. Kirk's farewell production at the helm will be the UK premiere of long-running Off-Broadway musical Boy Meets Boy, which opens on November 21 st .
Kirk has programmed the first six months of 2013, whilst Biggs is concentrating on the output from that point on. Productions from January to July 2013 include a rare revival of Ivor Novello's Gay's The Word, which will be followed by Graham Greene's little-performed play, The Living Room, directed by Tom Littler. In April Anthony Biggs will direct a 1920s classic - Frederick Lonsdale's superb comedy-of-manners, On Approval. Finally the season will culminate with Robert Chevara's production of the wonderfully strange In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel by Tennessee Williams, which has not been seen in London for thirty years.
Kirk himself will be working in the US for much of next year. In March 2013 he will be in New York to direct The Two-Character Play by Tennessee Williams starring Amanda Plummer, after which he moves to Los Angeles to direct a 'yet to be announced' production with the Actors' Company LA