Theatre group chief loses cancer battle

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PAUL Iles, the chairman of theatre company Northern Broadsides, has died aged 59, after a battle with cancer.

He became involved with the company as a consultant in 2003 and joined the board in February 2008. He was appointed chairman last December.

During his illustrious 40-year career, Mr Iles worked for many of the major venues in UK regional theatre – including the Blackpool Grand, Watermill Theatre in Newbury, Manchester Royal Exchange and Oxford Playhouse and Edinburgh Festival Theatre. He also worked in Australia.

Mr Iles later moved into consultancy, applying his knowledge of theatre and theatre buildings to a range of clients.

He also went back to university, acquiring two research degrees from the University of Glasgow before becoming a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society of Arts.

Most recently, he had been working as principal lecturer at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, as an associate director of the Georgian Theatre Royal Richmond and on the board of trustees for Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House.

Barrie Rutter, artistic director and founder of Northern Broadsides, said: “Paul’s contribution to theatre in this country and abroad is a wonderful legacy – but he had so much more to give. Farewell to a fine man from all at Northern Broadsides.”