Theatre Royal Plymouth is thrilled to announce that Dame Darcey Bussell DBE will become Chair of their Board of Trustees from 1 April. Darcey will be taking over the position from Nick Buckland OBE who is retiring from TRP’s Board after 13 years.
Of her new position Dame Darcey said: “I have known of the Theatre Royal and its excellence as a regional theatre for a long time, as I first danced on the beautiful Lyric stage over thirty years ago. It has been a pleasure getting to know the whole TRP team over the last few months as my husband and I establish a new base in Plymouth and I would like to thank our outgoing Chair, Nick Buckland OBE, for being so supportive and going out of his way to help with a smooth transition. Under James’ exceptional leadership, TRP is on a bold and ambitious path to augment its position as one of the country’s leading theatres with the growth of homegrown productions, a pathway I fully support. Along with the other members of our truly inspiring Board of Trustees, I look forward to helping realise this vision in the years ahead. TRP is the beating heart of Plymouth, a city whose future is very bright indeed and I am excited about playing my part.”
James Mackenzie-Blackman, Chief Executive and Executive Producer of Theatre Royal Plymouth said: “Darcey is a true embodiment of TRP’s values, and I’m thrilled she will lead our board in the years ahead. Darcey’s vast artistic experience will ensure that she’s able to support, challenge and help steer our creative ambition and her exceptional network and global reputation will help us connect to people that will help us deliver on our plans. With Darcey’s appointment, TRP’s new approach to artistic growth truly starts at the top of our organisation. I’d like to thank Nick for his exceptional, long-standing, leadership of TRP’s board. He has supported TRP through the best of times and the worst of times, always with the best interests of the charity at heart. We will miss him on the Board, but we are extremely fortunate to know that we can always call on his vast experience of our city and region.”
Nick Buckland OBE said: “I leave the dream role of chair of TRP’s trustees with mixed emotions: great joy that Darcey has agreed to take the reins and that James and his team are taking the theatre to a new level, but sadness at not being a direct part of the exciting future. With new leadership, the theatre is well placed to continue to play its important role in the life of Plymouth and the region, as well as being a hub for creative talent that’s recognised worldwide. I know I will continue to enjoy the wonderful productions that grace the stages of TRP and look forward to experiencing great theatre in all its guises. It just remains for me to wish Dame Darcey the very best for her new and fantastic role.”
Dame Darcey will be Theatre Royal Plymouth’s first female Chair of the Board and will join 12 other women who are part of TRP’s Board of Trustees. TRP is proud to announce this news on International Women’s Day with the theatre’s total workforce being 60% women and the wider leadership team being 50% women.
In 2022 TRP embarked on a period of creative and organisational development. In December 2022 they announced nine new Trustees and the appointment of Dame Darcey concludes this strand of board development. Theatre Royal Plymouth announced their creative renewal ambitions in the autumn of 2022 and have since appointed Liz King as their new Executive Director, Producing and Programming. TRP has also recently announced five new creative positions; Associate Director, Children, Young People and Families; Associate Director, Dance; Associate Director, Theatre; Artist for Change, Diversity and Inclusion, and Artist for Change, Climate Emergency.