Leeds & West Yorkshire

Barrie Rutter to step down from Northern Broadsides

Barrie Rutter
Image caption Barrie Rutter founded Northern Broadsides in 1992

The actor Barrie Rutter is to step down as artistic director of theatre company Northern Broadsides.

Rutter, who was born in Hull, founded the company in 1992 and has since overseen more than 70 productions.

In a statement, he said he took his decision to leave in April 2018 after Northern Broadsides was not granted an increase in Arts Council funding.

Some of the Halifax company's successes include casting Lenny Henry in Othello and Mat Fraser in Richard III.

Mr Rutter, who was awarded OBE in 2015, said: "I have decided that after 25 wonderful years it is the right time for me to stand down.

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"I leave the Supporters of Northern Broadsides in the hands of a robust and creative staff."

A statement from the board said: "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."

It added: "Barrie Rutter will be missed both on and off the Broadsides stage, but we wish him well in his next adventures."

The actor set up Northern Broadsides because he wanted to deliver a broadside to the established theatrical order.

It came after he worked at the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company but became frustrated at missing out on Shakespeare's great roles because he had the wrong voice.

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