Derby Theatre Appoints Expert Team

12 October 2011

Derby Theatre

Derby Theatre

This work will shape the future of theatre in Derby over the coming years. 

Peter Knott,Director of Arts Council England in the East Midlands.

Derby Theatre has appointed an expert team to advise and guide its Board and managers on the theatre's future development.

The expert team, which will act in an advisory capacity, will be led by Graham Devlin and Peter Boyden, along with Artistic Associates Jonathan Church and Erica Whyman:

  • Graham Devlin CBE has worked in professional theatre since 1973; as a director, writer and consultant. His theatre work has embraced planning and programming at Leicester's Curve, Glasgow Citizens, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

  • Peter Boyden wrote the influential Boyden report on English Regional Theatre. He has worked with dozens of producing and touring theatres including Plymouth Theatre Royal, Bristol Old Vic, Bush Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, Curve, Chichester Festival Theatre, Belgrade Theatre, Hackney Empire, WildWorks, Sheffield Theatres and York Theatre Royal.

  • Jonathan Church and Erica Whyman are both highly regarded, successful theatre practitioners, currently running two of the major English regional theatres; Chichester Festival Theatre and Northern Stage respectively.

From April 2012 Derby Theatre will have a new structure and will take lead responsibility for producing theatre in the city.

The full season will be officially unveiled in December (2011) but the first in-house production has been announced as The Butterfly Lion by War Horse writer Michael Morpurgo, in co-production with New Perspectives Theatre Company and the Curve in Leicester. Visiting productions of Funny Peculiar, Yes Prime Minister, Equus and Horrible Histories have also been announced.

Whilst not being able to provide National Portfolio funding to Derby Theatre, Arts Council England has indicated its ongoing commitment to support theatre in Derby by identifying strategic funding in the region of £300,000 per year between 2012/13 and 2014/15; although this will need to be applied for and contain a compelling case.

Arts Council England is providing project funding to Derby Theatre in order to engage this nationally renowned team of theatre experts; to advise and guide its Board and management team in the development of the artistic vision for the Theatre, and its approach to delivering attractive high quality produced theatre in Derby.

Gary Johnson, Theatre Manager at Derby Theatre, said: "I'm grateful to the Arts Council for the support they have given to the Theatre recently and I am delighted to be working with such a highly skilled team of experts.

"We have an exciting journey ahead of us and the opportunity to create a new sort of organisation; one that envisions delivering work which will be appropriate to its audience, accommodate the new economic realities and demonstrate the highest artistic quality".

Peter Knott, Director of Arts Council England in the East Midlands, added: "I'm delighted that financial support from us has enabled Derby Theatre to appoint a team of theatre experts, providing much needed capacity and help in developing their plans.

"Peter Boyden and Graham Devlin have a formidable reputation in the theatre sector.

"They will help develop the artistic vision and business plan for Derby Theatre, which will in turn help make a compelling case for drawing down funding. This work will shape the future of theatre in Derby over the coming years.

"Arts Council funding for this project is part of our long-standing commitment to working in partnership with the University and, hopefully, Derby City Council to help support the development of theatre in the City."

For further information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email

Use of personal data

Our policy is to only use the data you supply to us for use in regard to the work of the University of Derby. We do not pass on your data to any other third party under any circumstances.

© Copyright University of Derby 2014 | Accessibility | Privacy and cookies | Disclaimer | About us as a charity | Company information | Staff admin