Scottish theater boss Duncan Hendry dies aged 72

Tributes were paid to Duncan Hendry, who reportedly had “the arts in his blood”, after his death on Thursday morning.

Capital Theaters confirmed that he died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family.

Mr Hendry had an established career in the Edinburgh and Aberdeen cultural scene, working as Managing Director of Aberdeen Performing Arts before becoming Managing Director of Capital Theaters between 2012 and 2019.

During his seven years with the Trust, which runs both the Festival Theater and the King’s Theater in Edinburgh, he brought world-class shows to the capital including War Horse and Les Misérables.

Crucially, he also spearheaded the long-awaited redevelopment of the King’s Theater – with a public campaign to raise funds for the revamp that began in 2017.

READ MORE: Stars are demanding extra funds to save Edinburgh’s King’s Theater from closure

He also left a lasting mark on the venue, having commissioned John Byrne to paint the dome in 2013. The recognizable dome is also the Scottish artist and playwright’s greatest public work of art.

“With the death of Duncan we have lost an important figure in Scottish culture,” said Dame Joan Stringer, Chair of the Board of Capital Theatres.

She continued, “The arts were in Duncan’s blood and his contribution to the sector was immense.

“At Capital Theatres, his remarkable leadership combined with his business acumen transformed the fortunes of two of Edinburgh’s premier venues.

“Not only has he turned his back on them financially, but through his gifted programming skills he has ensured quality shows throughout the year at the Festival and the King’s Theatres.”

When Mr Hendry joined what was then Festival City Theaters Trust in January 2012, the organization was facing ‘significant’ financial problems.

In his seven years at the helm, he managed to grow the organization into a thriving business.

Dame Joan added: “Duncan was generous with his time and freely shared his knowledge and experience with others and in return became one of the most respected and influential people in the theater world.

“It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with him during our time together at Capital Theaters and the entire organization is deeply saddened by his passing.

“Our thoughts are with Rosemary, Rachel and Adam at this time, to whom we extend our deepest condolences.”

Current chief executive of Capital Theatres, Fiona Gibson, said she was “forever indebted” to Mr Hendry’s “friendship, wisdom, kindness and incredible legacy”.

She said: “He led the way in securing the long-term future of our incredible venues at a time when they needed his incredible drive and navigation most.

“He will always hold a very special place in our hearts and our love and deepest sympathy goes out to Duncan’s family and loved ones. May he rest in peace – a life well lived.”

The organization’s former director of finance and human resources, Iain Ross, also paid tribute to the theater’s greatness.

He said: “Duncan’s death marks the end of his enormous influence on Scottish theatre, which was a huge success both in Aberdeen and when he joined us in Edinburgh.

“He was an inclusive and open style, aware of the challenges faced by the entire workforce and characterized by strong planning and a good business brain.

“It was based on hard work and direct experience of the theatrical tasks that go together to create successful and welcoming venues.

“And it was aided by an ease of conversation and a wicked sense of humor that made even the most difficult of situations that much more manageable.” Scottish theater boss Duncan Hendry dies aged 72

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