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John Godber leaves Hull Truck for Wakefield Theatre Royal

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Playwright John Godber is to set up his own company in Wakefield just a few months after his 25-year association with Hull Truck Theatre ended last December.

The John Godber Company will be based at the Theatre Royal Wakefield and the venue will co-produce future UK tours of the playwright’s work, most of which will open at the theatre.

In a statement, Theatre Royal Wakefield said that the company will tour two shows across the country every year, with a third being added from 2013. The first tour will be of Godber’s new play, The Debt Collectors.

Godber commented: “When considering a home for my new company it made perfect sense to come back to my Wakefield roots, I have no doubt the new partnership with Theatre Royal Wakefield will be a happy and productive one.”

Executive director of Theatre Royal Wakefield Murray Edwards added that the venue “look[ed] forward to this new era with great anticipation.”

The Stage reported in December 2010 that Hull Truck had ended its formal association with Godber. Artistic director of the venue in 1983 and later creative director, he was appointed artist-in-residence in October 2010, when Andrew Smaje joined as the venue’s new chief executive. Little more than a month later, the theatre said that the playwright would now have a “more informal relationship” with the venue.

Responding to Godber’s move, a spokesman for Hull Truck Theatre said: “We plan to have two weeks of John’s production of The Debt Collectors in the autumn season. That’s something that we are very much looking forward to.

“We will continue to present plays from John’s back catalogue, along with his new work. Our audiences have enjoyed John’s plays for more than a quarter of a century and so it is only right that Hull Truck should continue to be a home to John Godber’s work.”

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