Storyhouse Chester has announced the departure of artistic director Alex Clifton, who will step down in August to join the “House of Mouse” in a senior position at Disneyland Hong Kong.
Alex is Storyhouse’s founding artistic director, and the driving force at the former cinema complex since 2010. After first founding the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre – which despite the pandemic entertained audiences in the summer of 2020 and is one of Chester’s favourite summer events – he became full-time artistic director of Storyhouse’s new £37m home in 2015, and opened it to universal local acclaim in 2017.
“I’ve had the most glorious 11 years, working with the team at Storyhouse; we’ve built something together that I’ll forever be proud of, in a community I love. It has forged lifelong friendships, and like all good departures, it opens more doors than it closes, with an ever-more inclusive, creative Storyhouse for Chester.”
CEO Andrew Bentley added: “Alex and I have been together since we opened our first show in Grosvenor Park. Alex has shown our industry how creative ambition can be elevated by placing communities first.
“Alex is leaving us in great shape, even in these tough times. We’ll be protecting that legacy by elevating creative communities and further diversifying the voices that make our work.”
Storyhouse has now begun the search for both a creative director and a programming director: “Alex has been huge. No one human could do his job,” said Andrew Bentley. Recruitment for both roles will begin in the next few weeks.