Barrie Rutter

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Barrie Rutter
Born (1946-12-12) 12 December 1946 (age 67)
Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Years active 1969 - present

Barrie Rutter (born 12 December 1946) is an English actor and the founder and Artistic Director of the Northern Broadsides theatre company based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England.

He was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England and after leaving school (Greatfield High School, Newton Hall) studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. In the 1970s he worked with the National Youth Theatre (where Peter Terson wrote a role for him in The Apprentices) and the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the 1980s he performed in three adaptations by poet Tony Harrison: The Mysteries, The Oresteia, and The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus. When Trackers was performed at Salt's Mill, Saltaire "He was deeply affected by the raw emotion of speaking to a northern audience in a northern voice in a classical play".

Rutter founded Northern Broadsides in 1992, and the company continues to perform both at its Halifax base and on tour. He continues to play major parts in many of its productions.[1]

In 2000 he won the title 'Creative Briton 2000', with a cheque for £100,000.[2] He was nominated for it by, amongst others, John Prescott, then Deputy Prime Minister, who said "Barrie's northern accent, fast action, factory floor Shakespeare is as far from elitism as can be, though it has never, never dumbed Shakespeare down."[3] In 2003 he received the Sam Wanamaker Award jointly with Stephen Unwin for their work promoting Shakespeare in the regions.[4] In 2005 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Bradford.[5]

He has appeared in many films and television programmes, including Queenie's Castle and a regular role in the early 1980s ITV sitcom Astronauts and as armed robber Oakes in the movie version of the BBC sitcom Porridge. He appeared in 5 episodes of the television series Fat Friends in 2004-05, playing Douglas Simpson.[6]

In 2009 Rutter directed Lenny Henry in a production of Othello.[7] He said of the decision to cast the comedian, "knives might be out at me or at Lenny. I don't care. This has come about from a completely genuine desire to do a piece of theatrical work. Bloody hell, how long has the Donmar had Hollywood stars going there for £200? He's six foot five. He's beautifully black. And he's Othello."[8]

After setting up the run of Othello in London, Rutter was invited to direct Richard III for the 'Vanemuine' Theatre Company in Tartu, Estonia. Though he suffered a heart attack, he completed the rehearsals for the first night at the Samadateater in Tartu on 17 October 2009. In the third quarter of 2010, Rutter also became a patron for the newly opened ALRA North.

Rutter's former wife Carol Rutter is Professor of English at the University of Warwick and Director of the CAPITAL Centre. They have two daughters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About us - Barrie". Northern Broadsides. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  2. ^ "Theatre pioneer receives welcome broadside". BBC News. 2000-06-29. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  3. ^ "Top prize for 'factory floor Shakespeare'". BBC News. 2000-07-28. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  4. ^ "The Sam Wanamaker Award". Shakespeare's Globe. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  5. ^ "Honorary Graduations at the University of Bradford - July 2005". University of Bradford. 2005. Archived from the original on 23 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  6. ^ "Barrie Rutter at IMDB". IMDB. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  7. ^ "Lenny just a jealous guy... and it's no joke". Yorkshire Evening Post. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  8. ^ Brown, Mark (2008-02-10). "A new Moor for West Yorkshire". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 

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