Artistic Director Brigid Larmour

Brigid Larmour is a producer, director, dramaturg and teacher with experience in subsidised and commercial theatre and television. She is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre.

Background

Brigid was born in North London, the late child of Northern Irish socialist republicans who were the first in their families to attend university, both graduating from Trinity College, Dublin. Brigid’s father later became a diplomat and consequently the family moved country every three years. Growing up in London, Hertfordshire, Australia, Nigeria, Belfast and Jamaica proved to be a formative experience for Brigid, broadening her horizons and exposing her to a variety of different cultures from a very young age.

Brigid studied French at the University of Caen in Normandy, France before taking her degree in Economics and English at King’s College, Cambridge. In her final year at Cambridge, Brigid directed the Jacobean ‘protofeminist’ comedy, The Roaring Girl at the Edinburgh Festival with the Cambridge Mummers. The cast included Annabel Arden, Simon McBurney and Stephen Fry. The production was a hit, with excellent reviews, and attracted the attention of the RSC. Brigid joined the RSC in 1982 as their youngest ever Assistant Director, and the play was brought back into the professional repertoire in an RSC production starring Helen Mirren the following year.

In 1985 Brigid became Associate Director at Contact Theatre, Manchester. She directed a range of Shakespeares, classics and contemporary plays including Mustapha Matura’s Playboy of the West Indies, the first play to be produced outside London with an all-Black cast, and routinely practised non-racial and gender-blind casting.

She championed and directed the premiere of Charlotte Keatley’s ground-breaking play My Mother Said I Never Should after it had been rejected by the RSC, NT, Royal Court and other major theatres. It won numerous awards, became a worldwide success and a GCSE set text. The play, with its cast of four women, made Charlotte the most produced female playwright around the world after Agatha Christie.

After working as a freelance director in the UK and USA, Brigid returned to the Contact Theatre as Artistic Director in 1989. Together with Administrative Director, Vikki Heywood, she rescued the theatre from imminent closure and put new writing at the heart of the company’s programming, presenting work by Harvey Fierstein, Liz Lochead, Tyrone Huggins, Charlotte Keatley, James Stock, Rosie Cullen and Kevin Fegan, alongside classics like Measure for Measure.

Brigid left the Contact Theatre in 1994 to train as a studio director at Granada TV, where she directed news and some drama.  She then developed SHAKESPEARE UNPLUGGED, a series of interactive, promenade productions of Shakespeare for RNT Education, continuing her practice of non-racial and gender-blind casting: David Carr as Henry V was arguably the NT’s first Black British Shakespearean King, and Virginia Radcliffe and Shona Morris each played a female Prospero.

From 1998-2006 Brigid was the Artistic Director of West End production company Act Productions,  working with directors like Steven Pimlott and Peter Gill, and collaborating with partners like Sonia Friedman and the Gate Theatre, Dublin.  She was also Theatre Consultant for BBC4 Plays.

In 2006, Brigid joined the Watford Palace Theatre as Artistic Director and Chief Executive.

Her interests include nurturing new artistic talent, in particular new writing; making classic texts passionate and accessible; and creating work that promotes cultural diversity and gender equality and speaks to, and represents, the widest possible community on stage.

Career

2006-present: Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre
2002-2004: Adviser to BBC4 Plays
1998-2006: Artistic Director of Act Productions, London
1994-1998: Freelance Director, including Shakespeare Unplugged for RNT
1990-1994: Artistic Director at Contact Theatre, Manchester
1987-1994: Freelance Director in theatres and drama schools in the UK and USA
1985-1987: Associate Director at Contact Theatre, Manchester
1982-1985: Assistant Director with the Royal Shakespeare Company

Watford Palace Theatre Productions

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw (2016)
Dick Whittington by Andrew Pollard (2015)
Coming Up by Neil D’Souza (2015)
Jefferson’s Garden by Timberlake Wertenbaker (2015)
Sleeping Beauty by Andrew Pollard (co-directed with Shona Morris) (2014)
Love Me Do by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran (co-directed with Shona Morris) (2014)
Fourteen by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti (2014) 
Robin Hood by Andrew Pollard (2013)
Perfect Match by Gary Owen (2013)
Equally Divided by Ronald Harwood (2013)
Mother Goose by Andrew Pollard (2012)
Our Father by Charlotte Keatley (2012)
Time of My Life by Alan Ayckbourn (2011)
Von Ribbentrop’s Watch by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran (2010)
Mrs Reynolds and the Ruffian by Gary Owen (2010)
My Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte Keatley (2009)
Absent Friends by Alan Ayckbourn (2008) 
As You Like It
 by William Shakespeare (2008)
We That Are Left
 by Gary Owen (2007)