Tributes are being paid to the boss of the Theatre Royal, Karen Simpson, who has sadly lost her cancer battle.
Karen, 62, had planned to step down from her position at the Theatre to spend more time with her family following the diagnosis. After spending Christmas with her family her condition quickly went downhill. She died on Saturday January 4.
Karen leaves her husband, Tony Kelly and daughters Sammy, Katie and Jenny.
Roger Quince, chairman of the Theatre Royal board said: “This is indeed an extremely sad day for myself, Adrian Grady and all staff, volunteers and cast at Theatre Royal. Karen will be sorely missed as both a colleague and a friend. Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with Tony and the girls.”
Karen joined the theatre in 2013 when it faced significant financial difficulties and was in danger of closure.
She had a vision to create a theatre for everyone, and helped grow its audiences year on year, reconnected the theatre with the community, returned it to a sustainable financial position and become the theatre we all know and love today.