Steven Cartwright, theatre manager

Steven Cartwright, who has died at 64, was a well-known theatrical manager in his home city of Leeds, responsible for bringing professional pantomime to the old Civic Theatre.

The old Leeds Civic Theatre
The old Leeds Civic Theatre

An accomplished pianist, upon leaving school he joined the staff of Barkers in Albion Place, renowned in Yorkshire for its selection of musical instruments and sheet music as well as its handling of bookings for concerts and shows.

After training, he was assigned to the sheet music and theatre bookings department where his knowledge of all things musical was often tested to the limit.

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In the early 1980s his love of the theatre brought a career change, and he was made manager of the Civic, now Leeds City Museum.

When it closed and relocated a year later at The Carriageworks Theatre, he became one of the team of house managers, a position he held until his retirement from ill health, just a few weeks ago.

There he was renowned for his professionalism and calmness – qualities tested severely on the night he had to call ambulances on three separate occasions during a single performance.

His friend Liz Coggins, principal of On Stage Theatre Arts Academy, where Steven was a mentor on theatre etiquette, said he was “one of the real gentlemen of old school theatre management”, able to deal efficiently and equably with anyone from a temperamental actor to a child who had dropped his ice cream.

He was also renowned, she noted, for luncheon parties at which he would regale his guests with anecdotes of his life in front of the footlights.