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We are delighted to announce that Conrad Nelson will be taking over the role of Artistic Director and Joint CEO of Northern Broadsides for the next 12 months when Founder and Artistic Director of the last 26 years Barrie Rutter steps down on the 1st April 2018.

Conrad, who has worked with Northern Broadsides since 1992 is currently the Halifax theatre company’s Artistic Development Director and Composer. His directorial debut for Broadsides was Deborah McAndrew’s acclaimed new adaptation of the famous gothic melodrama The Bells (2004), followed by Vacuum by Deborah McAndrew (2006). Since then he has directed a further eleven productions for the company including Blake Morrison’s Lisas Sex Strike (2007) and Accidental Death of an Anarchist (2008) Canterbury Tales, adapted by Mike Poulton (2010) and McAndrew’s A Government Inspector; (2012). He is currently directing Broadsides latest production Hard Times which is touring till late May 2018.

Conrad Nelson said about his appointment:

“I am delighted to be leading one of the country’s most treasured theatre companies over the next 12 months and onto the next stage of its development. From classical repertoire to new works and adaptations, over the last 26 years Northern Broadsides has been synonymous with producing high quality and award- winning drama, with a strong regional voice. We will continue to support the development of new writing and to bring new voices and artists from diverse backgrounds to the stage.

I have been fortunate to have been associated with the company as Director, Actor and Composer for the past 26 years. It has been a wonderful journey so far in partnership with founder, Barrie Rutter OBE and Executive Director, Sue Andrews. As they step down and continue a different path, we thank them for their incredible work in creating a company with a rich and important cultural legacy.

I would like to thank all those who have supported the company to date and recognise the ongoing support of our audiences who continue to show such wonderful enthusiasm, generosity and passion for our work. Our open and honest engagement with audiences across the country has defined our work for a quarter of a century and will continue to do so.

As we move forward we invite audiences old and new to a developing programme of work that acknowledges and respects where we have been.

Broadsides is very much open for business. Onwards.”

On announcing the new appointment Northern Broadsides Chair, Rachel Harris said

As Barrie and Sue leave us it is a time to celebrate a wonderful and successful past and embrace an exciting new future.

The board are extremely grateful that Conrad has accepted to take on the role of Artistic director for the next 12 months ensuring that the Company continues to produce work based in our core values and ‘northernness’.

Conrad’s excellent artistic influence continues to delight our audiences and we look forward to the next twelve months with Conrad at the helm.”

Conrad Nelson will take up his new appointment from 1st April 2018


The Board of Northern Broadsides is delighted to announce the appointment of Kay Packwood as Executive Director and Joint CEO with a fixed term contract until the end of March 2019.  Kay will take over the position from Sue Andrews who will be stepping down from the role at the end of June, after 26 years with the company.

Kay’s 17 years with Northern Broadsides and her wider experience within the industry has placed her perfectly to lead the Company alongside Artistic Director, Conrad Nelson.

“I am really excited to be joining forces with Conrad in planning the future of Northern Broadsides.  I intend to uphold the company’s core values whilst taking Broadsides to the next generation.  I would like to thank the Trustees for their support and confidence in my appointment.” Kay Packwood, Executive Director and Joint CEO

She has been a key member of the Broadsides team for many years showing great commitment.  She brings an exciting vision for Broadsides future.

“Kay’s appointment celebrates the past and paves the way for a bright future for Northern Broadsides. Her energy, enthusiasm and understanding of  the company is a terrific asset and I’m delighted to be tackling the ‘to do list’ with her.” Conrad Nelson, Artistic Director and Joint CEO

“I am looking forward to working alongside Kay as Broadsides moves forward into a new era.” Rachel Harris, Chair. Board of Trustees.

Kay Packwood will take up her new appointment from 2nd July 2018


Thank you every penny counts in the Arts!


Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE
Stephanie Cole OBE
Sir Tom Courtenay
Prof Edith Hall
Mike Harding
Roger Harvey OBE
Sir Lenny Henry CBE
Blake Morrison
Mike Poulton
Dame Ingrid Roscoe DCVO, FSA
The Rt. Hon. Lord Shutt of Greetland OBE, FCA
Meera Syal CBE




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