FOUNDER and artistic director Barrie Rutter will perform for the last time in York with Northern Broadsides from Tuesday to Saturday in the closing run of For Love Or Money.

From next January in London, he will direct the Shakespeare’s Globe and Northern Broadsides co-production of John Dryden's Restoration drama The Captive Queen at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from February 2 to March 4 before stepping down from fronting the Yorkshire company.

"Having failed to lead the team in securing a long-overdue increase in Arts Council funding, I have decided that after 25 wonderful years it is the right time for me to stand down," announced the Hull-born actor-manager in July.

Rutter founded Northern Broadsides in 1992, forming a noncomformist company to put the emphasis on the northern voice, and under his artistic leadership Broadsides have become one of Britain's leading touring theatre companies, producing more than 70 productions that started, aptly, with Richard III.

York Press:

Mat Fraser as Richard in Barrie Rutter's production of Richard III for Northern Broadsides at Hull UK City Of Culture 2017 at Hull Truck Theatre

Over the past 25 years, he has has overseen many of Broadsides’ successes from their Halifax base at Dean Clough, such as casting Lenny Henry in the title role in Othello in 2009 and Mat Fraser, who has thalidomide-induced Phocomelia, as Richard in Richard III as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

"I think I'll have mixed feelings when I finish: I have the tour to do, the Globe production, and I'm going to finish at Broadsides as I started, as an actor-manager," says Rutter, who will turn 71 on December 12. "Maybe it will all kick in in March when I'll have three weeks to clear my desk."

Next week, Rutter can be seen at York Theatre Royal as Fuller, a fabulously rich and morally corrupt banker, in regular Broadsides collaborator Blake Morrison's Yorkshire adaptation of Alain Rene Lesage’s French comedy Turcaret.

You can add this typically rumbustious show to such Broadsides' triumphs as their account of Shakespeare's history plays, The Wars Of The Roses, at West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2006; a rediscovery of Githa Sowerby's long-neglected debut play, Rutherford And Son, directed by Sir Jonathan Miller in 2013, and the award-winning premiere of Deborah McAndrew's An August Bank Holiday Lark in 2014.

York Press:

Actor-manager Barrie Rutter outside Northern Broadsides' headquarters at Dean Clough, Halifax

Looking back at what drove him to set up a company with a resolute desire to put a northern imprint on classic dramas, rediscovered gems and new adaptations alike, Rutter says: "It was just this burning desire to see through this idea I had and it's a matter of record I never knew there would be a year two, let alone a year 25, but on the years rolled."

Rutter may have played the outsider, the bluff Yorkshireman with an alchemist's gift for turning words into gold, but he has found favour with the Establishment too, being awarded the OBE for services to drama in 2015. You sense another seal of approval pleases him more, however. "I've just become a member of the Garrick Club, where you have to be proposed for membership. I think I'm the only actor-manager there. It's full of judges and business types!"

Characteristic of a Yorkshireman, he builds strong bonds, whether with fellow Broadsides director and composer Conrad Nelson or with Skipton playwright Blake Morrison. "In the years of Broadsides, year two, three or four, it was Tony Harrison [the Leeds playwright] who said Blake had done a version of Heinrich von Kleist's The Broken Jug for the National Theatre that had lain dormant for years," recalls Rutter.

"I read it and to be honest I hoped it was better than it was! But on the way home I acquired a collection of his poems, including his Yorkshire Ripper poem [The Ballad Of The Yorkshire Ripper], and I thought, 'that's the language I want for Broadsides'."

York Press:

Regular Northern Broadsides double act: playwright Blake Morrison and artistic director Barrie Rutter. Picture: Nobby Clark

The Cracked Pot was to be one of a multitude of Morrison adaptations for Broadsides, the latest being For Love Or Money. "Blake had a copy of Turcaret on his shelf, and Ish [Broadsides actress Ishia Bennison] had been in the last English version in 1980, so I asked him to read it, but he said he couldn't see a way in," says Rutter. "However, 18 months ago, I asked him again, he re-read and it's emerged as a brand new play set ten years after the First World War. It's a very bare play, the barest I've ever directed."

The setting is small-town Yorkshire. "It could be Ilkley, Otley, Skipton, any of those, where a woman has head to sell every asset she has. So it's not Brideshead Revisited!" says Rutter. "I play a hapless banker who thinks he can buy everyone with money, believing that everyone is corrupt, everyone can be bought." How apt for today. "We like to see the downfall of a banker, don't we!" he adds.

Coming next will be Rutter's last Broadsides' production, presented at Shakespeare's Globe, where Broadsides are an associate artist under Emma Rice's artistic directorship. "We're doing The Captive Queen, a John Dryden drama that's not been done since 1678 when it was Charles II's favourite play of the time. Basically, it's who's sha**ing who in late-17th century London, but who cares about that, so I've set it in the dyeing mills in Yorkshire instead," he says.

How very Barrie Rutter: Yorkshire to the very last as he bows out at Northern Broadsides.

Northern Broadsides presents For Love Or Money at York Theatre Royal, Tuesday to Saturday, November 28 to December 2, 7.30pm, plus 2pm, Thursday, and 2.30pm, Saturday. Box office: 01904 623568 or at