Tributes paid to Wigan Little Theatre legend Colin Hurst

The death has been announced of Wigan Little Theatre stalwart Colin Hurst.

By Geoffrey Shryhane
Monday, 25th April 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 1:08 pm

Colin, of Standish, had been a leading light at WLT for many years and will be best remembered for playing dame in many of its pantomimes.

But he also won praise for roles in comic and serious productions and was also a respected director.

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Colin Hurst in one of his acclaimed dame roles for Wigan Little Theatre

In a tribute, WLT President Margaret Kinley said: “Colin and his late wife Mary had over 50 years’ association with the theatre and during that time played a significant part.

“In addition to appearing in and directing numerous plays they also served in management roles. Colin was a truly charismatic character.”

Margaret added that Colin always captivated audiences whatever the play.

And he was a much loved panto dame along with Bill Collins.

Colin Hurst (left) in his council entertainments officer role with actor Ken Parry before a WLT performance of panto Humpty Dumpty in 1990

Bill said: “I have lost a wonderful friend. We joked that we had appeared in so many shows. We were like an old married couple.

“We were true pantomime partners and the banter on stage and off was funny beyond words.

“As a director he never bullied and that’s what brought the best out of people.”

“He will be sorely missed.”

Colin worked for many years for Wigan Council’s leisure department which on occasions required him to don a large white beard and red and white costume to play Santa when children came to Haigh Hall before Christmas.

He also had a big screen acting credit, playing Stalin's secretary in the 1988 Shostakovich biopic Testimony starring Sir Ben Kingsley which was largely shot in Wigan.