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Dame Darcey Bussell DBE announced as new Chair of the Board at Theatre Royal Plymouth

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.

More information on TRP’s creative roles can be found here. The Artists for Change
programme is supported by the Jerwood Developing Artists Fund.


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