Death of a Barbican bossRIP
The controversial Baroness Detta O’Cathain died last Friday after a short illness. She was 83.
No-one quite understoood how a businesswoman with no passion for the arts became managing director of the Barbican Centre in 1990, but over the next five years Detta succeeded in affronting managers and performers on whm the Barbican depended, cutting as deep as she dared to blacken the bottom line. She finally lost the confidence of City paymasters and was sent on paid leave before her contract expired.
In person, she was charming and informal, never wanting to be addressed by her title.