Kevin Chapple was a founder member of the Society of Box Office Managers, at one time their treasurer and chairman, and an executive committee member of Box Office Management International.
Born in Nottinghamshire on May 28, 1949, he was brought up in Exmouth and educated at Exmouth Grammar, Blundells and Collyers schools. He started work at the Ministry of Overseas Development before working at Horsham Museum as an assistant and then curator.
In 1971 he joined the Mermaid Theatre as box office assistant/FOH and then went to Paris for a year where he taught English. He returned to the Mermaid and then worked in various West End box offices including Sadler’s Wells, Piccadilly, Greenwich and the Aldwych theatres.
In 1987, he was appointed theatre manager for the Savoy Theatre and was in that position at the time of the disastrous fire in February 1990, which completely destroyed the auditorium. He became part of the team responsible for the reconstruction of the theatre, working closely with William Whitfield and Hugh Wontner. The Savoy Theatre reopened in July 1993 and he continued working there until 1999.
In 2000, he became house manager for Holland Park Opera during their summer seasons and house manager for the OrangeÂ Tree Theatre in Richmond, Surrey. He held both of these posts until 2005, when he was appointed concert hall manager for the newly opened Cadogan Hall in Chelsea. He left Cadogan Hall in November 2006 and spent time travelling and house-hunting outside London for his future retirement.
Kevin had a great knowledge of all aspects of theatre and the performing arts. His all-consuming interest in the lives of Gilvert and Sullivan was well known. From 1995-2001 he was honorary editor of Gilbert and Sullivan News, the magazine produced by the Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
I met Kevin many years ago when I worked for the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and we became firm friends from then on. He was much loved by his many friends and colleagues and his untimely death has been a great shock to us all. A memorial concert will be announced.
He was found dead at his home by police on October 22, 2007, aged 58.