Sudbury: Theatre mourns loss of star volunteer Nicki Murphy

Sudbury's Quay Theatre bucks the national trend after a profitable year, ending rumours of closure.

Sudbury's Quay Theatre bucks the national trend after a profitable year, ending rumours of closure. Pictured is Nicki Murphy (board member). - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to an “inspiring” volunteer who was credited with bringing her local theatre back from the brink of closure.

Nicki Murphy, who was involved with the Quay Theatre in Sudbury for nearly 30 years, died on Sunday in West Suffolk Hospital at the age of 65 after suffering a stroke.

The news of her sudden passing has shocked the local community, including her “extended family” at the theatre, where she was volunteer co-ordinator and a keen member of the Sudbury Dramatic Society.

In a statement released by the Quay’s board of trustees, Mrs Murphy was credited as being instrumental in saving the theatre from closure and “setting it back on a firm footing” after years of financial uncertainty.

The statement read: “Everyone involved with the theatre is deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of Nicki on Sunday. Her involvement with the Quay stretches back over 30 years and she was heavily involved in its foundation.

“The thoughts and good wishes of her extended family here go out to all her family and friends. She will be sorely missed.”

Bryn Hurren, chairman of the board of trustees, said Mrs Murphy should be credited with devoting her last years to the theatre.

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He added: “Her death came as a terrible shock and she has been taken from us too soon, but we are totally dedicated to continuing what she started here. We will miss her so terribly, but she would have wanted us to keep the theatre expanding and thriving in her memory.”

Mrs Murphy, from Cornard Tye near Sudbury, was born in Clacton and studied nursing at University College Hospital in London. She nursed for most of her career including a spell in Canada, and was manager at two local nursing homes before she retired. But she will be best remembered for her tireless voluntary work, including at Sudbury Volunteer Centre and Mencap – and most memorably at the Quay.

She had three children – Lara, 35, Tonya, 33, and Christopher 29. She also leaves a husband, retired dentist David Murphy, and a 15 month old grandson, George.

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