YP Comment: A pioneering company man

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The news that Barrie Rutter is stepping down as artistic director of Northern Broadsides will cause dismay among many theatre fans.

It is 25 years since Rutter created his theatre company at Hull Marina – in a boatshed where he staged a now famous production of Richard III.

From the outset, Rutter wanted to stay true to his Yorkshire roots and quickly gained a reputation for staging Shakespeare in a northern voice, with Northern Broadsides going on to establish itself as one of the country’s leading touring theatre companies, with more than 70 productions to its name.

As an actor-manager, Rutter harks back to the 19th century when such roles were commonplace in the theatre, but he and his cohorts have turned Northern Broadsides into a modern-day success story.

Through his passion, drive and indomitable spirit he helped give Yorkshire a genuine voice on the stage, and long may he continue to do so.