The artistic director of London’s Young Vic, whose hit productions include Yerma and A View from the Bridge, is stepping down after 17 years.
David Lan said he wanted to leave while the theatre was experiencing its “greatest strength and success”.
Under his tenure the Young Vic has grown a reputation for producing ambitious work for diverse audiences.
Billie Piper won best actress at this year’s Olivier Awards for her role in Yerma.
The play, which also won best revival, is due to return to the Young Vic next month with Piper reprising her role as a young woman driven to extremes by her desire to have a child.
“There is never an easy time to slip away but I wanted to leave at a time of our greatest strength and success,” Lan said.
“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.”
Many Young Vic productions – such as Ivo Van Hove’s production of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, starring Mark Strong – have gone on to success in the West End and on Broadway.
Other memorable past productions include A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Gillian Anderson; Hamlet, with Michael Sheen, and Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, with Hattie Morahan.
Formerly a playwright and documentary maker, South African-born Lan took up his role at the Young Vic in 2000. In 2014, he was awarded a CBE for services to theatre.
He will announce his final season in mid-July and continue as artistic director until a replacement is appointed at the end of this year.
Alastair Smith, editor of The Stage, tweeted: “David Lan’s Young Vic has been a welcome tonic to more insular approaches of much of mainstream UK theatre.”
Rupert Goold, artistic director of London’s Almeida Theatre, said Lan had “redefined the way theatre was made in this country. As with all the greatest leaders his vision was only matched by his humility”.