Publisher Takes the Helm at the Royal Court

News   Publisher Takes the Helm at the Royal Court Publisher Liz Calder is to replace Sir John Mortimer as Chairman of the Royal Court.

Publisher Liz Calder is to replace Sir John Mortimer as Chairman of the Royal Court.

The news that the new Chairman of the board at the Royal Court is Liz Calder should come as no surprise, in that it is normal to have significant figures from the world of business—or politics—at the helm of arts organizations.

The board's role, after all, is to ensure the continued running of the organization and not to make day to day artistic decisions: their influence in that area lies in their choice of artistic director.

As outgoing Chairman Sir John Mortimer has noted, he oversaw the massive refurbishment of the Royal Court's Sloane Square headquarters which, provided the plays are up to scratch, should ensure the Royal Court's continued presence as a major force in British theatre.

Ms. Calder seems eminently suited to the radical tradition of the Royal Court as she was the founder of the publishing house Bloomsbury and carved a niche in what has traditionally been a male dominated industry. She will bring her business experience to the business side of the Royal Court and as such the fact that she comes from the publishing world rather than the theatre one should be no problem—indeed it may be an advantage to have an "outside" view. —by Paul Webb Theatrenow