Sheila Formoy spent most of her adult life living and working on Shaftesbury Avenue. Born on May 24, 1939, her first job in the theatre was as secretary to the agent Vincent Shaw. While working for Shaw, she moved into a flat rented by him on Shaftesbury Avenue and remained there for more than 30 years.
In 1968 she left Shaw to take a job with Triumph Productions, working with Duncan Weldon and Paul Elliott. She worked on their very first West End productions in 1970, which were When We Are Married, starring Peggy Mount and Fred Emney at the Strand and The Chalk Garden, starring Gladys Cooper and Joan Greenwood at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1971.
Sheila worked on all aspects of their numerous productions, including handling arrangements for a tour of Australia and the United States of the RSC’s productions of Hedda Gabler, starring Glenda Jackson and Timothy West, and The Hollow Crown.
In 1974 she moved from Triumph to HM Tennent, whose offices were above the Globe, now Gielgud Theatre, and then run by Harry Saltzman. She stayed with the company until its closure. During that time she worked on such shows as Virginia with Maggie Smith, Number One with Leo McKern, A Month of Sundays with George Cole and the musical King. Saltzman closed the company in 1992 and for a year Sheila worked on a temporary basis for a variety of managements.
In 1993 she ran into Bill Kenwright on Shaftesbury Avenue and he hired her on the spot. She remained with Bill Kenwright Ltd as a production executive until her death. Bill Kenwright’s current production of Scrooge, starring Tommy Steele at the London Palladium, is dedicated to the loving memory of Sheila Formoy.
Sheila died on Saturday, October 8, aged 66, after a long fight against cancer. She is survived by her mother and brother.
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