Barnes to stay on as Abbey Theatre director

Tuesday 07 September 2004 23.05
Barnes to stay on as Abbey Theatre director

The Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, Ben Barnes, will remain on in his position following an emergency meeting of the National Theatre Society tonight.

Mr Barnes faced a vote of no confidence at the meeting amid mounting criticism of his handling of the theatre's artistic direction. The motion of no confidence was overwhelmingly defeated.

A proposal by Des Geraghty of SIPTU, who is a member of the National Theatre Society, to postpone the management rescue plan which involves laying-off a third of the Abbey's staff was agreed by the members. 

A working group is to be set up to look at all the issues involved.

A member of the board described the meeting as cordial and constructive.

The Abbey is currently celebrating its centenary but it is expected to be €2.5m in debt by the end of this year.