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Tributes pour in for 'generous hearted and talented' theatre boss Jamie Barber

By: stagedoorscribbler - January 8, 2018

James Barber

Tributes have been pouring in for James Barber, the chief executive and director of Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, who died suddenly just before New Year. 

Known to his many friends as Jamie, he was widely loved and respected in the business. He was an enthusiastic, positive presence and a much admired professional who ran the theatre with an eye for both artistic integrity and commercial success. 

In a statement, the theatre said: "It is with huge sadness we inform you our theatre director and chief executive James Barber passed away on Friday December 29.

"After nearly 40 years of dedication to Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, the team are devastated to lose such a loved and respected leader.” It added : "The theatre's programme of events will continue to run as scheduled because one of the very many things Jamie taught us was that 'the show must go on’. 

Among many tributes was one from our own Clive Conway who described him as “Such a generous hearted and talented man. Yvonne Arnaud was Jamie”. 

He added that Jamie Barber had been friend for more than two decades, taking several early Clive Conway productions like Matters Matrimonial with Wendy Craig and Francis Matthew, For All Occasions with Hannah Gordon and Peter Barkworth, Mortimer’s Miscellany with Sir John Mortimer  and a bevy of famous actresses.

Others had included  Maureen Lipman, Robert Powell, Anton Rodgers, Ian Hislop with Richard Ingrams, Tony Benn, John Sergeant, Alastair Campbell, Sir David Frost, Mary Berry and “hundreds more of our Audience With productions.”