Photo: Daniel Buckroyd, Tracey Childs and Steve Mannix
- Daniel Buckroyd will leave the Mercury Theatre Colchester in August 2018, to lead the Exeter Northcott Theatre
- Tracey Childs is appointed Interim Executive Producer and Joint Chief Executive
After six years as Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive of the Mercury Theatre Colchester, Daniel Buckroyd is leaving to take up a new challenge as Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Exeter Northcott Theatre.
Daniel’s tenure as the Mercury’s Artistic Director has seen a strong period of growth, with overall audiences up by 20% and the theatre’s innovative Creative Learning & Talent programme engaging more young people, community groups and emerging artists than ever before.
Daniel established Made in Colchester in 2013, programming 51 in-house productions since then and directing 20, including UK tours of The Butterfly Lion, End Of The Rainbow and Turn of the Screw and the regional premieres of Betty Blue Eyes and Clybourne Park. He has written four record-breaking Mercury pantos, and directed the hugely popular UK tour of Spamalot, which also visited South Korea where it won an award for Best International Musical. Since 2013, in Colchester and on tour, over 500,000 tickets have been purchased for Made in Colchester productions. In 2017 the Mercury was shortlisted for Regional Theatre of the Year by The Stage newspaper.
Daniel has also played a leading role in planning the Mercury’s current redevelopment, with an extended and refurbished building due to open in 2020 housing new production and rehearsal facilities, a dedicated Creative Learning space, increased Main Auditorium seating capacity, all-day cafe/bar, and a creative businesses hub.
Daniel Buckroyd said:
“I’m immensely proud of the work that we’ve produced and presented over the last six years, both here at the Mercury and on tour around the UK, and I’m grateful for the support of the theatre’s Board and funders, the creativity and dedication of the Mercury’s amazing staff team and the imagination and talent of the many hundreds of artists who’ve joined us on the adventure.
The redevelopment of the theatre signals an exciting moment of renewal for the Mercury and the town. With the project now on a strong footing and about to move into its next phase, this is the right time to create space for a fresh artistic vision from 2020, building on the successes of the past few years.
The people of Colchester built the Mercury nearly fifty years ago and continue to treasure their theatre, so it’s been a privilege for me to contribute to the cultural and creative life of the town and to receive such support from our loyal audiences.”
Kathleen Hamilton, Chair of the Mercury Theatre Board of Trustees said:
“The Mercury Theatre has benefited greatly from Daniel’s artistic leadership, and we wish him well in taking up his new post at the Northcott. Daniel’s vision and practice have developed the role and scope of the work of the Mercury over the past six years and the growth of audiences and participants is testimony to this.
The Mercury is known in the theatre industry for the high quality of its productions, and this is due in no small part to Daniel’s fine work as Artistic Director. As the Mercury embarks on its major capital work we are in a strong position to build on Daniel’s particular and much appreciated contribution.”
Daniel will continue as Artistic Director of the Mercury Theatre until August 2018. The theatre is fully programmed until the summer of 2019, and Daniel will continue to write this year’s Mercury pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.
The Mercury Theatre Board will now begin work with partners to determine a timetable for recruitment of a new Artistic Director. In the interim, the Mercury and the major capital project will continue to be led by Executive Director Steve Mannix. Steve will be joined by Tracey Childs, who will step up to the role of Interim Executive Producer and Joint Chief Executive during this period. Tracey has been the Mercury’s Producer since October 2014.