It was back in September 2016 when Barrie Rutter told The Telegraph he would leave Broadsides if Arts Council England did not provide a boost in funding. Staying true to his word, today it was announced after 25 years he will step down from the company he created.
Attracting ACE funding is certainly not easy, with numerous hoops to jump through and increasing competition no company is guaranteed a space in the NPO. Therefore, Broadsides and Rutter should be proud of continuing to achieve what they have done in Halifax. However, the Arts continue to go through a very challenging time, stagnant funding is a real terms cut and with more emphasis being put on philanthropy some organisations are struggling to maintain a balanced bank balance an ever-growing uncertain climate.
While it is a shame such a strong and experienced voice such as Rutter has taken the decision to move on to pastures new, a new leader at the helm with new ideas may perhaps give the Northern Broadsides a boost it needs to continue to be one of the UK’s leading touring companies.
Rutter should continue to be proud of the successes he has helped to create; from the success of his production of Othello starring Lenny Henry; to the Award Winning August Bank Holiday Lark and to being one of the companies chosen by Emma Rice to partner up with the Globe. He has created a raw gem of a theatre company from the North. It will now be interesting to see who takes the reigns and what the future looks like for Nothern Broadsides.