For several years now, James has been a regular attraction on the evening tours of the old Prison, appearing as various convicts, sometimes frightening and often amusing the visitors.
Here, he has just emerged from his cell in prison greens as convict John West >
For the last three years, James has appeared as characters in tours conducted in the Fremantle Cemetery by Board member Don Whittington. In 2016 he did Henry Vincent, jailer, and C.Y. O'Connor, planner/engineer - in powerful performances. In 2017, he reprised O'Connor, and added Tom Edwards, the waterside worker killed by police in 1919.
James Hagan appearing as C.Y. O'Connor, with Don Whittington (in the hat) behind him, Fremantle Cemetery 2016
And in 2018, when the year the theme was 'merchants princes', he portrayed James Lilly as a man of conviction who saw himself as falling short of ideals and so killing himself - but finding redemption in his last seconds of perception. The words Lead Kindly Light are on Lilly's tombstone. James Hagan took this as his theme, and suggested, in a fine piece of both writing and acting, that Lilly may have seen the white light at the end of the passage in the moments before he died. James also sang a few lines from the hymn in his remarkable bass-baritone voice.
James Hagan, actor, channelling James Lilly, shipowner, 2018
He interpreted Mary Higham, 'merchant princess', to begin with as a slightly comic character, but quickly moved to represent her as woman of faith, for whom, 'God is with me'.
James Hagan in song in the character of Mary Higham, 2018
Given that the performances are given outdoors, with minimal costuming and no other theatrical artificiality whatsoever, the effect is remarkable.
James Hagan played Johann Sebastian Bach in Bach by Candlelight in St George's Cathedral, 31 August 2016.
The evening was hosted by beloved Perth actor James Hagan, who donned a period costume and a German accent to portray the revered composer. In between pieces, he gave us little historical snippets about the life and times of Bach, ad libbing, delivering a joke or two, and interacting occasionally with the audience as he walked up and down the aisles. Cicely Binford.
WA actor James Hagan played the character of “Grumpy Bach” throughout the evening, entertaining the audience with his musings on the life and works of the composer. It helped some interesting facts about Bach stick, including the fact he had 20 children (10 of whom lived past childhood), many who became musicians and performers themselves. Sarah Green.
This is a 2018 webseries which may be picked up by Netflix. In it, James plays the first sex scene of his career (with his clothes on).