ASSOCIATE director Katie Posner is leaving York company Pilot Theatre to focus on freelance work.

"Having had time off in the summer to do a new show for New Perspectives and a community show for Soho, it has fuelled my need to move on and create new opportunities and take responsibility for my own career," says Katie, who will be moving to Cambridgeshire with her husband, York Theatre Royal and Guilds of Misrule actor and drama tutor Michael Lambourne.

"Having worked here in York for the past eight years, directing 23 plays in that time, I've been able to make such a rich and varied amount of work, including two large-scale community shows, so there'll be lots to miss, especially as we're moving back down South to be nearer to our families. York has been such a special place for us and we'll miss it dearly."

In their lead-up to leaving York, Katie has been doing a creative engagement project in Hull, based around York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre's 2018 production of Graham Greene's Brighton Rock, while Michael's distinctive voice has been booming around Castle Howard – and no doubt the Howardian Hills too – in his guise as Santa Claus over the Christmas period.

Summing up her Pilot years, Katie says: "I made big plays and small plays which have taken place, not only in in theatres across the country, but also in a chocolate shop, a debtors prison, in Museum Gardens, the National Railway Museum and outside York Minster.

"I've worked on shows with casts of one to 300 actors and I've worked with an incredible amount of people who have enriched my life in so many ways.

"I'm so proud of all the creative opportunities I've had over the past eight years, but now is the time to pass the baton on to someone else. I'll always be grateful to all who have supported me, believed in me and encouraged me to be the best artist that I can be.

"I've truly learnt what it has meant to be part of a community and that really is one of the most important lessons I'll take from my time here. It’s the people who make the city of York and that's what has really made the last eight years so incredibly special."