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Barrie Rutter to leave Northern Broadsides after 25 years

Barrie Rutter. Photo: Chris Pepper Barrie Rutter. Photo: Chris Pepper
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Barrie Rutter is to step down as artistic director of Northern Broadsides, 25 years after he founded the company.

Rutter cited a failure to secure an uplift in Arts Council England funding leading him to decide it was “the right time” to stand down.

In 2016, he vowed to leave if the company did not receive a financial boost in the latest Arts Council portfolio round, announced last month. The Halifax-based company was given funding at the same level as in previous years: £255,287 per year until 2022.

Rutter founded the company, which produces Shakespeare and other plays with northern actors using their natural voices, in 1992. It has staged more than 70 productions throughout his tenure.

His final productions for the company will be the forthcoming For Love or Money, an adaptation of the French comedy Turcaret, and a co-production of The Captive Queen with Shakespeare’s Globe, in January 2018.

Announcing his departure, he said: “Having failed to lead the team in securing a long overdue increase in Arts Council funding, I have decided that after 25 wonderful years it is the right time for me to stand down. I leave the supporters of Northern Broadsides in the hands of a robust and creative staff.”

A spokesman for the company’s board added: “The company recognises the significant contribution Barrie Rutter has made to theatre, the arts in general and the lives of his colleagues over the years.

“In establishing Northern Broadsides 25 years ago, he created a vibrant and visionary organisation that is committed to ensuring that his legacy survives into the future.”

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