Theaters across the UK were bathed in blue light Thursday evening, in tribute to the late impresario Bill Kenwright.
Following the death of Kenwright, one of the country’s leading theater producers and mentor to hundreds in the industry, theaters in his home city of Liverpool lit up in blue to pay tribute to his other great love, Everton Football Club, where he served as chairman for over two decades.
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The BBC reported that theaters paid tribute in other cities across the UK, including Darlington, London, Blackpool, Brighton and Sheffield.
Kenwright’s death at the age of 78 was announced on Tuesday. Everton Football Club shared the news on X, stating that he had “passed away peacefully last night aged 78, surrounded by his family and loved ones.” “The club has lost a chairman, a leader, a friend, and an inspiration,” the statement added.
Another statement from Kenwright’s Bill Kenwright Limited said it was “devastated to share the news,” describing him as a “beloved partner, father, grandfather and friend.”
Kenwright was one of the UK’s most successful theater producers, with past credits including the likes of Blood Brothers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cabaret. He helped kickstart the careers of many other current West End producers such as Mark Rubinstein and Marc Sinden and had a happy knack of landing successes, with other hits including The Wizard of Oz, Jekyll & Hyde and Evita.
He also produced a wealth of movies, starting out with 1991’s Stepping Out and ending most recently with The Critic. Other movie credits included Chéri, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart and Broken.
Born in Liverpool, he acted when he was younger, landing a role in ITV’s Coronation Street as Gordon Clegg, before leaving to pursue producing. He was also chairman of Everton and had his own record label, Bill Kenwright Records.
Kenwright is survived by his partner, actress Jenny Seagrove, and daughter, TV producer Lucy Kenwright.
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