Northern Ireland

Remembering Catherine Campbell: a ‘shining star’ of stage and inspiration to all

44-year-old Derry woman was talented performer with Stage Beyond theatre company

Catherine Campbell holding a glass of sparkling wine at a table
Catherine Campbell, a talented member of Stage Beyond theatre company, died aged 44

Catherine Campbell has been remembered as a “shining star” both for her performances on stage and her infectious personality, which made her friends wherever she went.

The 44-year-old was a founding member of Stage Beyond, an award-winning theatre company based in Derry’s Millennium Forum which aims to empower adults with learning disabilities through opportunities to train in the arts.

Catherine dazzled with leading roles in many of its productions and adored spending time with other members of the group, who became like family off stage too.

Catherine Campbell performed with Stage Beyond theatre company
Catherine Campbell performed with Stage Beyond theatre company

Stage Beyond’s Facebook page was filled with tributes following news of her death from cancer earlier this month, recalling her as a great talent who was a delight to teach, as well as a “beautiful soul” with a wonderful sense of humour.

In its post, the theatre company said it was “heartbroken at the loss of our shining star Kitty”.

“You will be forever in our hearts and your memory will live on.”

From Rosemount in the city, Catherine was the youngest of six girls in a family of eight and was an avid reader and fan of all kinds of music as a child at St Anne’s PS and St Mary’s College.

Always very outgoing and sociable – she was loved to ‘get the bars’ and chat about news and current affairs – her love of performance began with her involvement in Stage Beyond from its earliest days.

Catherine Campbell
Catherine Campbell was from the Rosemount area of Derry

The Arts Council said she was one of its longest serving members and “to everyone who had the pleasure of meeting her and seeing her on stage, she was a shining star”.

Gilly Campbell, director of arts development, described her as “a remarkable young woman who brought real strength to her performances, confident on stage, gifted with great humour and comic timing, with the biggest heart”.

“She was a genuine inspiration to others to realise their potential. Our thoughts are with Catherine’s family and her many close friends at her ‘second family’ at Stage Beyond.”

Catherine, who also worked in the Mencap office in Derry for many years, died peacefully at Foyle Hospice on February 5.

Predeceased by her parents Jim and Bridget and brother Joseph, she is survived and sadly missed by her sisters Siobhan, Breege, Deirdre, Teresa and Patricia and brother James.