Privates on Parade star Sophiya Haque dies aged 41

Sophiya Haque with Privates on Parade co-star Joseph Timms. Photo: Johan Persson
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Actress Sophiya Haque, who had been starring in Michael Grandage's West End production of Privates on Parade, has died aged 41.

Haque had been appearing as Sylvia in the show, which opened at the Noel Coward Theatre in December. She was also well known as a Bollywood actress and had appeared in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bombay Dreams in the West End from 2002 to 2004.

She was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago and her last performance in Privates on Parade was just before Christmas. She died in her sleep last night, January 16.

Her agent Stuart Piper, managing director of Cole Kitchenn, said: "Sophiya was one of the most inspirational people I ever met. She was the kind of person you always want to spend time with: full of light, warmth, compassion, care and with an infectiously wicked sense of humour and my co-agent Olivier Thomson and I loved every minute of working with her. On stage, it was like you were watching her in close up even if you were sat at the back of the stalls such was her star presence and charisma. I am so desperately sad that she has been lost to the world at such a tragically young age, but feel blessed to have known her."

Michael Grandage and executive producer James Bierman added: "We are devastated by Sophiya's sudden passing. She was a true force of nature and her glorious performance as Sylvia is one that will be remembered with great joy. A spirited lady, she lived life to the full, and her presence in the theatre will be sorely missed. The company would like to dedicate the remaining performances to her memory."

A full obituary will appear in a future print edition of The Stage.