Two of the last female artistic directors (AD) in the London fringe theatre scene have announced they are stepping down from their roles.

Rebecca Atkinson-Lord and Rachel Briscoe are leaving their roles as the co-directors of theatre at the Ovalhouse, with the Autumn season their last.

Ms Atkinson-Lord said: “Leading the theatre programme at Ovalhouse over the last five years has been an incredibly rewarding experience for us both.

“We’ve been privileged to work with some of the most innovative and exciting artists of our generation and it has been a joy to create a place where we can re-imagine the possibilities of what theatre and performance can be.”

The pair oversaw a successful five year tenure in charge of the Ovalhouse, with audience numbers doubling, fundraising surpassing £1.3 million and 80 news pieces of theatre.

This move means that no women of their generation remain at AD level across the subsided fringe scene across the nation’s capital.

Rachel Briscoe said: “Job-sharing at Ovalhouse meant that we continued to work as independent artists throughout our tenure; being able to see the venue-artist relationship from both sides was useful and important.

“Now it’s time for both of us to spend a little more time being artists and a little less time being a venue.”

The number of women in the top roles in UK theatre companies has been an ongoing issue for some time.

Tonic Theatre report that despite high female interest in the scene in the 2011/12 financial year, just 26 productions in the 10 highest subsidised theatres in England were directed by women, compared to 83 by men.

Rebecca Atkinson-Lord will now work on a number of transatlantic theatre projects, work on a new commission with long time collaborator Joshua Conkel and go back to working with her theatre company Arch 468.

Rachel Briscoe will continue her work with fanSHEN, commissioning works, starting a project aimed to create experiences of young people with autism, and start work on a new fanSHEN app.

Rebecca Atkinson-Lord and Rachel Briscoe are stepping down from their roles at the Ovalhouse. For more information, click here.