Profile: Jim Walden
- Koichi Bando, Shakespeare Country (1993)
- Foster, No Man’s Land (1991)
- Sinbad Sailors/Nogood Boyo, Under Milk Wood (1987)
- Elbow/Barnardine, Measure for Measure (1985)
- Sir Joshua Reynolds/Joseph Johnson, Blake (1985)
- Lenny, The Homecoming (1984)
Also credited as
The following obituary appeared in the February 1994 edition of Loft News.
Jim died suddenly. It was three days before Christmas as he wrapped Christmas presents and his wife, Christine, slept innocently upstairs. The why and the wherefore of this tragedy has left his family and friends in a mood of bewilderment and wonder.
It is only three months ago that Jim was demonstrating his spirit and talent on the Loft stage as the Japanese tourist in Shakespeare Country. A unique performance in its impish and subversive detail that lit up the stage. I remember watching him in rehearsal and finding myself in a convulsion of giggles. He was a gifted comedy actor with an innate sense of timing and an ability to seek out the details of man in a mess. He will also be remembered at the Loft for his performances in Under Milk Wood (‘What are you doing upstage, Jim?’, asked his director. Jim told him. ‘Well, don’t, not at the Loft!’ And, unfortunately, Jim didn’t!), Blake and menacingly in No Man’s Land.
I was also privileged to work with Jim at the Talisman. He approached the part of Banquo with the thoroughness one would expect; he harried a part, terrier-like, he held up rehearsal with discussion. ‘But I should be concentrating on my two leads’, I thought. But he was so right as his subsequent performance proved: there was friendship fatally betrayed. In the production of Gunslinger he had a three page monologue. I was so busy putting in loads of cliché business that I left him to his own devices. He delivered, at the first rehearsal, a subtle, humorous and well crafted performance of each and every line. He was meticulous.
Jim directed as well. How the Other Half Lives, Bent (with Chris) and Loot where he gave me my most succinct note ever. A large piece of paper with just one remark, ‘Learn your lines!’. Jim was always very much to the point, and his rehearsals gave evidence of this. He had no time for indulgent nonsense.
It was during the production of Macbeth that he fell in love with Chris. A love that slowly filled his life and led to their marriage and the birth of the gorgeous Elena: a babe of joy from whom he was so tragically torn away. It is so hard, at such times, to believe in an all loving super power. Dear Jim, we will always miss you, in spite of your shyness, your moods and your acid tongue.
Jim’s beautiful humanist funeral did him credit; it was standing room only. A celebration of a well loved couple, more loved than they might realise.
1993 was a bad year for the Loft with the snatching away of lives before their true time. The theatre is a duller place for it.