Chichester Festival Theatre have announced that Daniel Evans will take over from Jonathan Church as artistic director in July 2016.

Evans has been artistic director of Sheffield Theatres since 2009 where his programming has included seasons of plays by David Hare, Brian Friel, Michael Frayn and Sarah Kane. He is currently directing a new production of Show Boat at Sheffield and his production of American Buffalo with Damian Lewis recently completed a West End run at the Wyndham’s Theatre. Evans who hails from South Wales trained as an actor and has received two Olivier Awards and a Tony nomination.

Chichester Festival Theatre Chairman, Sir William Castell, said “I am delighted to confirm Daniel Evans as our next artistic leader. After a comprehensive search, we were presented with a very accomplished shortlist of candidates but it was clear that Daniel’s breadth of experience as a director and actor makes him a brilliant fit for Chichester Festival Theatre. He is widely admired for championing classical work and musicals alongside a commitment to new writing, and his passion for theatre is infectious. I am very happy he has chosen to share that with us as we look forward to a terrific future for CFT.”

Daniel Evans said: “I am truly delighted to be asked by the Board at Chichester Festival Theatre to become its next Artistic Director.”

Church, who leaves Chichester to take up post as artistic director of Sydney Theatre Company, was responsible for a plethora of hugely successful shows including West End transfers of Sweeney Todd starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, Gypsy with Imelda Staunton and the forthcoming production of Guys and Dolls at the Savoy.

On his time at Sheffield, Evans said “I am hugely grateful to the entire staff at Sheffield Theatres and I’m deeply proud of the bold, passionate and enriching work we’ve achieved together in our city region. It has been a real privilege to lead the organisation for the last seven years.”