Well loved Coffs Coast actor passes away at 35 after battling cancer

James Hall in some of his many roles on stage at the Jetty memorial Theatre. Photo: supplied.


ON Sunday 24 January popular local James Hall, aged 35, succumbed to cancer after a long fight.

His passing will be felt deeply by many people, particularly in the local theatre community where James was widely known and loved.

A proud Woolgoolga resident, James will also be sorely missed at his workplace at the Seaview Tavern.

James lived with Asperger Syndrome, and forged an impressive body of work as an actor and singer in community theatre on the Coffs Coast, appearing on stage in fifteen productions starting in 2010 with a role in CHATS Productions ‘The Flying Pieman’.

In his first musical, CHMCC’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar, he played the role of the disciple Peter and amazed his castmates by knowing the dialogue of all the other characters in the show and was able to stand in seamlessly for the major role of Judas at a number of rehearsals.

Working across most of the local community theatre companies over ten years some of his major roles included playing both Harold the Blind Hermit and Inspector Kemp in CHMCC’s 2013 Australian premiere production of Mel Brook’s comedy musical ‘Young Frankenstein’, and Danny Zuko in the completely sold out Arts Council production of ‘Grease’ directed by James’s long time mentor Pat Slattery in 2016.

James versatility as an actor allowed him to excel in comedy, musicals and drama including roles in Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ (CHATS 2012) and ‘MacBeth’ (Arts Council 2015), ‘Allo, Allo’ (Arts Council 2015), ‘Rent’ (CHMCC 2011) and ‘Calendar Girls’ (CHATS 2018).

As well as performing, James was highly successful as a competitive swimmer, at one stage holding the National Record for men’s S14 50m and 200m Breaststroke and trailed for place in the Paralympics.

A private memorial will be held at the Jetty Memorial Theatre on Friday 5 February to celebrate the life of this remarkable young man, taken from our community too soon.


By David Tune

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