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Northcott Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd To Step Down

Background: pink and purple shapes. (Right) Text reads 'Northcott Artistic Director Daniel Buckroyd to step down'. (Left) A headshot of Daniel Buckroyd.

Daniel Buckroyd, CEO & Artistic Director of Exeter Northcott Theatre, has announced his intention to step down from the role in December, after four years at our venue, to take up a new role as Artistic Director of the Garrick Theatre in Lichfield.

I started my directing career at the Northcott, and so it’s been a huge privilege to return to Exeter and work with such an amazing group of colleagues, trustees, volunteers and partners to put the theatre at the heart of the cultural life of the city and surrounding area. Without the dedication of the Northcott team, and the steadfast support of audiences, we wouldn’t have been able to bounce back from Covid with such confidence, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved together; a refurbished Northcott, a new city centre venue, and our work with communities are just a few of the highlights. Although I’m moving on to pastures new, you can be sure I’ll be following the Northcott’s fortunes with great interest and affection.

Daniel Buckroyd, CEO & Artistic Director of Exeter Northcott Theatre

Encompass workshop: Daniel Buckroyd (centre) talks to members of the Encompass group on the Northcott stage
Daniel talks to members of the Encompass community group on the Northcott stage. Photo © South West Theatre Photography

Over the last four years, the Northcott Theatre has focused on reaching bigger and more diverse audiences and playing a key role in widening the range of creative opportunities available locally. New initiatives have included the Northcott Futures talent development programme; the Encompass Project working with Exeter’s Caribbean, Hindu & Polish communities; and the transformation of the Barnfield Theatre into a creative community hub for the city. The theatre has also won two Exeter Living Awards during this period.

As well as attracting some of the very best UK touring drama, dance, music, comedy and variety to Exeter, Daniel has directed a number of in-house productions during his time at the Northcott, including the John Cleese farce, Bang Bang, which toured nationally after opening at the venue; a digital production of Brecht’s Antigone during lockdown; and the theatre’s 2019 panto, Beauty & the Beast, which he also wrote. Before leaving, Daniel is looking forward to directing this year’s panto, Robin Hood, which he co-wrote with Devon-based Le Navet Bete.

Antigone Rehearsals - the chorus is performing a physical part of the play, contorting into different shapes
Rehearsals for Antigone (2019). Photo © Mark Tipping

The board is hugely grateful for Daniel’s energy, vision and dedication to the Northcott Theatre. His ambition to raise the company’s profile and impact in Exeter and beyond has driven exciting new, inclusive thinking and inspired deep creative engagement in our teams and our communities. Whilst we are incredibly sorry to see Daniel go, we know that his passion for theatre for, with and by everyone, will be a huge asset not only in his new role, but also to the wider theatre sector.

Becky Chapman & David Balcombe, Co-Chairs of the Board of Trustees

Over the last four years, the partnership between the University and the Northcott Theatre has gone from strength-to-strength, allowing us to enrich the student experience and drive excellence in our city. Under Daniel’s leadership, we’ve developed more creative opportunities for a wider range of people and it is testament to his time at the Northcott that we can look forward to an exciting, creative future for Exeter.

Mike Shore-Nye, Registrar and Secretary at University of Exeter

Daniel brought a breath of fresh air to the Northcott Theatre, attracting new talent and a diverse programme during the most challenging of times for all theatres. His enthusiasm and contribution to improving the cultural scene in Exeter is greatly appreciated by the City Council. It has been a delight to work with him and we wish him the very best for his next endeavour.

Cllr Laura Wright, Deputy Leader of Exeter City Council

Work will begin shortly to recruit Daniel’s successor.

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