After 35 years of working so hard for the benefit and success of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, 13 of them as the School’s Principal, Paul Rummer should have been able to conclude his last term before retirement enjoying the public accolades, compliments and occasions that he has deserved for all that he has done for the School. Instead he has had to grapple with the effects of the biggest pandemic the world has seen since the flu epidemic of 1918 and its personal and financial consequences for the School, its students and every aspect of the acting profession. He has postponed his retirement for a number of weeks in order to do so but hopefully he is now beginning to enjoy some time off.
In 2007 one of Paul’s first decisions as Principal was to approve the setting up of the Julian Slade Award for Musical Talent, a project that my son Rupert and I wanted to fund from some of the money left to us by my brother Julian when he died in in 2006. Julian had, of course, been at the School himself in the early ‘50s and had remained a huge fan of everything theatrical in Bristol for the rest of his life.
Since then 13 well-deserving students at the School have been able to win the title thanks to Paul and other key members of staff such as Pamela Rudge and Jenny Stephens.
Hopefully there will be soon be a much better time to recognise the full value of Paul Rummer’s stewardship of the School but meanwhile all we Slades wish him well and good health. Let us hope we all meet again soon. ADRIAN SLADE