Rupert Rhymes has stepped down as chairman of Bristol Old Vic, becoming the latest casualty on the board since the decision was taken to close the company’s home, the Bristol Theatre Royal, for refurbishment.
According to a statement issued by the BOV, Rhymes’ resignation “allows the board to look for new leadership to take the theatre forward” and it has already approached Dick Penny, managing director of the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol, to take over as chair.
Penny commented: “I am daunted by the offer, it is an amazing challenge. I have total faith in the will of Bristol to regenerate its unique performing arts hub. I am up for the journey provided that I can be useful, make a positive difference and unite the energies of Bristol behind the re-invention of the Bristol Old Vic for Bristol in the 21st century. I plan to consult widely with the Bristol community before taking up this offer.”
Penny and the BOV will hold a consultation meeting on January 10 at the Bristol Theatre Royal. During the consultation period Jos Moule, partner at law firm Osborne Clarke, will take over as acting chair.
Meanwhile, it is understood that the company is still in discussion with Arts Council England regarding future funding of the theatre beyond March 31, 2008.