Brigid Larmour to step down as Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre in Spring 2023.

Brigid Larmour has announced today that she will be stepping down from her role as Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre.

One of the most experienced artistic directors in the UK, Brigid has been at the helm of Watford Palace Theatre since 2006. The new business plan she has developed with the team, which has secured NPO funding from ACE, does not involve a permanent Artistic Director role after her departure in spring 2023.

Brigid Larmour joined the Watford Palace Theatre at a difficult time for the organization. She quickly took charge and led her team in a successful turnaround. Larmour forged a strong partnership with the local council and mayor’s office, ensuring that the theater received crucial funding even during the challenging austerity measures.

Recognizing that the theater’s existing audience was predominantly white, Larmour sought out like-minded theater makers such as Rifco Theatre and invited them to use the theater’s space. She also offered temporary support to tiata fahodzi when the company was at risk of losing its funding.

Larmour also embraced the Creative Associate model, providing resources and support to emerging theater makers such as nabokov, mid-career artists like Kate Flatt, and specialist independents like Tangled Feet, Mahogany Opera, and Scamp. As a result, the theater’s Imagine Watford festival is now in its 12th year and is known for commissioning diverse British outdoor arts.

The new business plan Brigid has developed with the team, which has secured NPO funding from ACE, does not involve a permanent Artistic Director role. It builds on a recent focus to offer a wider range of popular entertainment, community work, musical shows and family work in addition to traditional drama, calling on in depth use of data and involving a wider range of team members in programming decisions. It aligns with the focus on community and inclusion at the heart of the ACE LET’S CREATE strategy. Details of the new model will be finalised ahead of Brigid’s departure.

Brigid Larmour says “It has been a joy to work on this stage, with this team, and in this town for the past sixteen years. Now we have secured ACE funding to continue the Palace’s work into the next NPO period, I am excited to be able to move into the next chapter of my career.”

Pravesh Kumar MBE, Artistic Director of Rifco added “This is such a bittersweet moment. Brigid Larmour welcomed Rifco Theatre Company into Watford Palace 10 years ago, giving us a home. She has shown us not only an immense love but something that many only talk about – a genuine platform to play and grow and be a real part of theatre ecology. Without her genuine action for change, so many diverse artists would not feel the warmth of the big spotlight. I wish her the best of luck in her new adventure and know she will continue to change theatre land.’

Playwright and She Said screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz commented “Brigid Larmour is a powerhouse of a director. Her work is brilliant, muscular and intuitive. Brigid is an inspiration to all young women who want to helm a theatre or direct. “

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said “Brigid has done so much for Watford Palace Theatre, our town and the region. I have worked with her for many years and have always been struck by her passion for the arts and can-do attitude. I am so grateful for everything that she has done.”

Brigid Larmour’s final production will be the much anticipated The Merchant of Venice 1936 with Tracy Ann Oberman, premiering at the venue in February.

👤 📅14 December 2022
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📷 Main photo: Brigid Larmour. Photo by Greta Zabulyte.

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