UK theatre lights dimmed for Kenwright
Theatres across the UK are to dim their lights this evening in tribute to the producer Bill Kenwright, who has died aged 78.
Kenwright, who produced more than 500 West End, Broadway, UK touring and international theatre productions, was described as a theatrical legend by the president of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT), Eleanor Lloyd, who said he was “a theatrical legend – a true impresario whose passion, spirit and enthusiasm had an immeasurable impact on the British theatre for 60 years”.
Image courtesy of What’s On Stage
He began his career as a television actor with a role on Coronation Street, and during his time in the soap opera developed a career as a theatre producer, beginning with a tour of the Waterhouse-Hall comedy Billy Liar. He made his West End name with Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers which became one of the longest running shows of all time with 24 years at the Phoenix in London and is still touring.
Jon Gilchrist and Stephanie Sirr, co-presidents of UK Theatre, added: "Bill was a titan of the touring theatre circuit” said Jon Gilchrist and Stephanie Sirr, co-presidents of UK Theatre. “His commitment to regional theatre kept some really key industry establishments alive through tough times. He devoted much of his prolific career to productions around the UK and his extraordinary contribution to the sector will not be forgotten.”