ACE funding

The University’s latest application for Arts Council funding will be considered next month. If it’s successful, it’ll enable the theatre to appoint an artistic leader.

The Arts Council ring-fenced £300,000 a year for three years which will go to produced theatre in Derby and the University is hopeful of getting that money.

Last year the Arts Council financed the theatre’s appointment of a team of experts—Jonathan Church, Erica Whyman, Graham Devlin and Peter Boyden—to advise on the theatre’s development and artistic policy.

Jonathan Church, who was associate director of Derby Playhouse from 1994 to 1995, is artistic director of Chichester Festival Theatre.

Erica Whyman has been chief executive of Northern Stage for the past six years, while Graham Devlin has worked in professional theatre since 1973 looking after planning and programming at Leicester’s Curve, Glasgow Citizens Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Peter Boyden, who wrote an influential report on English regional theatre, has worked with dozens of producing and touring theatres.

Peter Knott, Arts Council England’s regional director for the East Midlands, says the university’s plans are “quite exciting” and “very positive”.

He adds, “From the doom and gloom of a few months ago, we’re in a different position.”