Highly respected and long-serving West End theatre PR veteran Janine Shalom has died, aged 63.
Janine was Director of Theatre PR at communications agency Premier for 17 years, and over a 30 year career worked with many of the West End’s biggest companies, including PR firm McDonald & Rutter, the Almeida theatre and the National Theatre.
John Reiss, Executive Chairman of Premier said in a statement: “As one of the industry’s leading publicists, she has represented everything from the smallest theatre groups to the biggest productions in the West End; and every time she did so with her unique vigour, tenacity and passion. She was a titan and for those who knew her or had the privilege to work with her, we share your sense of profound loss. Mostly, we shall miss Janine enormously as a much-loved colleague and friend. Regardless of how busy she was, Janine always had time for everyone, and her kindness, humour and rapturous laugh will be much missed by all at Premier. Our thoughts and love are with her family at this difficult time.”
Janine’s clients included the Bridge Theatre, where Guys & Dolls is currently playing, and Sonia Friedman Productions, who produce West End shows including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Book of Mormon, and Oklahoma!
Sonia Friedman said in a statement on Twitter that: “We are deeply saddened to learn that our dear Janine Shalom has passed away. She was a loyal, devoted, deeply committed colleague and also a wonderful friend. Janine was the press rep for the very first show I ever produced at the National. That show also happened to be the first show that she ever ran press for, too, so we had a lifelong bond. She worked across countless shows with us and was always a tower of strength. A huge sadness for all who knew and worked with her. Janine – I’ll miss your sunny, naughty, wise smile. RIP.”
Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr at the Bridge Theatre issued a joint statement on Twitter, saying, “We are shattered by the loss of our dear friend and colleague Janine Shalom. She was with us when we launched The Bridge and steered us through every one of our ventures since. Her wisdom, expertise and sparkling sense of the ridiculous are absolutely irreplaceable. She’d be amazed at the outpouring of grief and love for her and she’d try to brush it aside, but we share the frustration of everyone she worked with that we won’t be able to tell her what a difference she made to our lives.”
Cameron Mackintosh issued a statement that said: “The shocking news that Janine Shalom died very suddenly on Saturday has left her friends and colleagues in the theatre, completely bereft. She was simply one-of-a-kind, wise, skilful and genuine – as forthright in her passion for great theatre, as she was dismissing the second rate. Janine was a constant source of insightful information, laughter and enthusiasm, chatting with her close colleagues nearly every day. It is incomprehensible to think she will no longer be on the end of the phone advising what to do, and just as importantly what not to do, always signing off on an upbeat note and a plan for tomorrow. We will all miss her terribly and send our sincerest condolences to her family.”
Everyone at WestEndTheatre.com sends their heartfelt condolences to Janine’s family, friends and colleagues.