Theatre News

Tara Theatre’s artistic director Abdul Shayek dies aged 39

Shayek passed away unexpectedly of natural causes

Abdul Shayek
Abdul Shayek, © Harry Elletson

Abdul Shayek, the artistic director and joint CEO of Tara Theatre, has passed away aged 39. 

In a statement from Tara Theatre: “It is with immense sadness that we are announcing the death of Abdul Shayek, beloved artistic director and joint CEO of Tara Theatre, aged 39. We are heartbroken to share this news on behalf of his family. Abdul died at home unexpectedly, of natural causes. 

Abdul’s family and Tara Theatre respectfully request privacy and space to come to terms with our devastating loss.”

Shayek took on his role at Tara Theatre the oldest global majority-led theatre company in the UK in August 2020, succeeding founding artistic director Jatinder Verma.

While at Tara Theatre, he created Final Farewell, an audio walking project in response to the pandemic, as well as a virtual reality film, and commissioned national and international productions.

During his career, Shayek was also the founding artistic director and CEO of FIO, Wales’s first global majority-led theatre company.

He was also a member of British Council’s Arts and Creative Economy Advisory Group and named in The Stage 25 in 2022 and the Stage 100 in 2023.