Rose Theatre Artistic Director to leave

The Artistic Director at the Rose Theatre, Stephen Unwin, has announced that he is to leave his role. Mr Unwin, who has been in the role for the past five years, will continue until the theatre’s sixth anniversary in January 2014.

He said: “Being Artistic Director has had huge rewards, along with some real challenges.”

One of the Rose Theatre’s main challenges has been its poor financial state despite receiving extensive local financial help from Kingston Council and Kingston University.  The most recent accounts for the year ending March 2012 highlight a profit of over £20,000, though this was greatly helped after the theatre received cash grants totalling more than £800,000 from the council and university.

It is the second time that the theatre has posted a profit – a surplus of just over £130,000 was recorded in the financial year for 2009/10.

The accounts do, however, indicate an improvement on the previous year where the theatre struggled to an overall loss of £32,000.

Kingston Council, partially funded by council tax, re-negotiated their grant in March 2011 to provide annual revenue support at a reduced rate of £500,000 a year for five years “in exchange for a range of services”.

Kingston University, meanwhile, supports the theatre through a “unique partnership” which involves a £300,000 a year grant plus a further £80,000 grant which was given in the past year towards an in-house production.

During his tenure as Artistic Director, Unwin has overseen more than twenty “widely acclaimed” productions, most recently Noël Coward’s The Vortex. He is currently working on upcoming production A Day in the Death of Joe Egg starring Ralf Little which is due to open on April 30.

Mr Unwin said: “The Rose today plays an important part in the London theatre scene and will, no doubt, go from strength to strength.

“I look forward to seeing the theatre continue to flourish, if from a distance.”

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