James Barber, chief executive and director of Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, has died.
The venue confirmed his death on December 29 aged 59, after working at the theatre for nearly 40 years.
Barber joined the theatre as assistant stage manager in 1978, before taking on the role of general manager in 1984 and theatre director in 1992.
Theatre staff have paid tribute to Barber as “a loved and respected leader”.
An official statement from the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre said: “It is with huge sadness that we inform you that our theatre director and chief executive James Barber passed away on Friday, December 29, 2017.
“After nearly 40 years of dedication to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, the team are devastated to lose such a loved and respected leader.
“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’. Our thoughts are with Mr Barber’s family at this most difficult time.”