January 31 2015 Latest news:
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Hundreds of pounds have already been raised in memory of young Norfolk actor Gary Higgs, who died on the day a show in which he was due to appear opened.
Mr Higgs had been due to appear in the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society’s (NNOS) latest show Anything Goes which is at Norwich Theatre Royal this week.
It was to be his third NNOS production, but the 23-year-old, who had cystic fibrosis, had to step back from rehearsals shortly after Christmas for health reasons. He died on Monday, just days after marrying his wife Stephanie Moore who had also been due to star in the show.
NNOS has dedicated its Anything Goes production to Mr Higgs and each night a collection is being made to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The first two nights raised £846.
NNOS chairman David Pulling, who described Mr Higgs as “an inspiration to us all,” said: “We are absolutely amazed at the generosity from the audience. We know that the Norfolk branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust will be hugely grateful.”
Mr Higgs, who was from Holt but living in Norwich, became involved in NNOS after he was spotted in a Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society (CSODS) production of Half a Sixpence, and yesterday CSODS paid tribute to him.
Andrew Payne, chairman of CSODS, posted on the organisation’s Facebook page: “Gary was an inspiration to us all.
“Despite his on-going debilitating illness, his courage and determination always meant that anyone who didn’t know him, would have no idea how much stamina and sheer guts it took for him to perform and not just to be up there on stage, but to always give it his all. He was a terrific young performer with a huge talent and more importantly one of the nicest and sweetest young men it was our pleasure to have as one of our CSODS family. Despite his poor health, nothing stopped him from doing what he loved and that was to perform.”
Mr Higgs had also appeared NNOS productions of Hello, Dolly! and Sweeney Todd.
• Anything Goes runs until Saturday - www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
• To donate to Cystic Fibrosis Trust in memory of Mr Higgs, contact Mr Pulling via www.nnos.co.uk