Cooke to rule Royal Court in 2007

Director new a.d. at London theater

Helmer Dominic Cooke takes over as artistic director of London’s Royal Court Theater in January 2007.

A former associate director at the Court, Cooke is an associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he launched that troupe’s annual New Work Festival.

Directing credits include “Spinning Into Butter” and a mounting of “The Crucible” that begins performances in Stratford Feb. 16.

Cooke succeeds Ian Rickson, who will step down from the post in December after the completion of the theater’s 50th-anniversary celebration. Rickson has held the post since 1998, when he took over for Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot”).

The Court, which hosted the preem of John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” in its first season, has helped develop the careers of scribes Edward Bond, Christopher Hampton and Caryl Churchill, among others.

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