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DEATH OF LOUISE SINCLAIR (article first published : 2005-03-3)

A vivacious face of the Playhouse box office, Louisa (known as Louise) Sinclair passed away on January 26, 2005, after a short illness.

Serving the Durban entertainment industry for over 35 years, Louisa started as an usher at the Playhouse cinema which is where she met the legendary entertainer, Liberace.

She joined Computicket at its inception and remained for 15 years whilst also working at the Playhouse Box Office where she became a familiar face to thousands of patrons over the past 16 years.

Devoted to her family, she reared her four grandchildren single-handedly. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her especially her long-time colleague and friend May Usher.

“I was really sad to hear of Louise’s death,” says publicist Sharlene Versfeld. “Illa (Thompson of Publicity Matters) and I always use to joke about Louise, May Usher and Cheryl van Doorn (from Computicket) being the most efficient ticketing people in the world and all any theatre anywhere would need is to employ the three of them to solve their ticketing issues. Nothing was ever a problem for Louise and she handled the rather tricky and very exhausting job of interacting with customers with such tact and ease. I shall remember her for her willingness to help people, her comforting smile and her gentle soul. May you rest in peace, Louise.”

Margie Coppen of Think Theatre concurs: “We were all saddened by Louise’s death. She always helped me to the best of her ability whenever I was involved with bookings at the Playhouse. Not only did she work long hours at the Playhouse but she also took on the responsibility of caring for her grandchildren - quite a tough call considering the long hours she worked. She will be sadly missed by us all.”

Norman Hesom, former Playhouse front of house manager, started working with Louise in 1986 when he joined the Playhouse. “Louise was a fantastically dedicated and conscientious worker,” says Norman. “She was always very helpful to customers – it’s an absolute tragedy that she has gone like this. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her – she knew how to handle difficult customers, it was like watching her wave a magic wand. She was also very interested in the productions she was promoting.

“She had great plans,” Norman continues. “She was an excellent seamstress and was going to renovate her flat and buy a sewing machine so she could work from home. Everything she did, she did for her grandchildren and it’s such a pity that she won’t see them growing up.”




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