Rutter quits after 25 years over ACE funding decision

Barrie Rutter, who founded the Northern Broadsides 25 years ago, is standing down as its artistic director after Arts Council England failed to increase the theatre company’s annual grant.

“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” he said. “I leave the Supporters of Northern Broadsides in the hands of a robust and creative staff.”

Based in Halifax, Northern Broadsides has been on a standstill annual grant of £255,287 since 2015, and in the investment announcements last month by ACE there is to be no increase between 2018 and 2022, although the company remains a national portfolio organisation.

Its speciality being presenting the classics, especially Shakespeare in Yorkshire dialect, Northern Broadsides had a notable success recently with Richard III, its contribution to Hull’s year as UK City of Culture – Rutter, 70, is the son of a Hull fishworker – which was an echo of the company’s first production which began its tour at Hull’s Marine Boatshed. Since then he has taken the company all over the world.

Awarded an OBE in 2015, Rutter will stand down after directing a Shakespeare Globe co-production of The Captive Queen, a reworking of Dryden’s Restoration drama Aurangzeb, at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in January.

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