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Norwich theatre man dies

PUBLISHED: 14:00 04 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:24 02 July 2010

For more than 60 years James Livock, who has died aged 87, played a pivotal role in the development of Norwich's Maddermarket Theatre

For more than 60 years James Livock, who has died aged 87, played a pivotal role in the development of Norwich's Maddermarket Theatre

A man who played a key role at Norwich's Maddermarket Theatre for more than 60 years has died at the age of 87.

A man who played a key role at Norwich's Maddermarket Theatre for more than 60 years has died at the age of 87.

James Livock, who was a former chairman of the Maddermarket Theatre Trust, was joined the company in 1949.

Norwich born and bred, he went to Norwich School and followed his father as a freeman of the City of Norwich.

His career with the Customs & Excise spanned 35 years, and he retired as surveyor or senior inspector, based at Great Yarmouth in 1982.

As secretary to the Freemen of Norwich, he was also trustee of several of its connected charities including Doughty's Hospital, serving for more than 30 years.

But the theatrical world was always his main love and he played his final role at the age of 80. He had met his wife, who also shared his love of the limelight, at the Maddermarket and they married in 1951.

He played many roles but was equally content to serve front of house, even working in the box office well into his 80s. He became secretary to the Norwich Players in 1953, and then secretary to the Maddermarket Theatre Trust in 1962, becoming a trustee in 1976 and then chairman for two years until 1981.

His enthusiasm for the city's history resulted in publication of “A History of King Street,” which was co-edited with John Dent. He was also a reader for Chatterbox, the newspaper for the blind, for more than 15 years.

He is survived by a younger sister, Beryl, and leaves a widow, Diana, and three children, Susan, Michael and Catherine.

A funeral service will be held at the City of Norwich Earlham Crematorium, on Wednesday, April 7, 2.15pm.

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