James was born for this quirky character

By Riverine Herald

ATTRACTING more men to Echuca-Moama Theatre Company has always been a struggle, so when you manage to score someone like James Coleman, you hold on and don’t let go.

Even when they take a few years off here and there. Because one day, they come back.

And James has come back with a vengeance — landing the role of Wednesday’s boyfriend — Lucas Beneike — in The Addams Family.

‘‘He is a typical fun and goofy character which is one I love to portray,’’ he said.

‘‘Like Lucas, I’d like to think I am a funny and loveable person, but when there are wild and daunting decisions, anyone you ask will tell you I am a total wimp. So I feel as though I am able to show that quite easily on stage.

‘‘The main difference between Lucas and I is how he is continually pushed down emotionally by his parents.

‘‘I have always had an amazing amount of support so it’s been hard to put myself in the same mindset as him emotionally.’’

The 20-year-old recently moved from Gunbower to Echuca but still manages his parents’ petrol station there.

Addams is his fourth show with EMTC, starring in A Christmas Carol in 2013, Li’l Abner in 2014 and Spamalot in 2017.

There seems to be a recurring theme here.

‘‘I am a huge fan of shows that are quite comedic and The Addams Family couldn’t be more fitting to my preferred style,’’ he said.

‘‘I was also really keen to get back into being on stage again. After being stage manager for Madagascar last year I saw how much fun everyone in the cast was having and I was itching to get back into it.’’

The former St Joseph’s College student, who scored a Georgy nomination in his school’s production of Footloose in 2013, said he was enjoying being part of the show and the friendships he had made.

‘‘It’s so great spending time with such like-minded people,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s also heaps of fun being able to bring the characters to life and it is so easy when you are performing with a cast that is so talented.

‘‘I’m hoping I can bring a more goofy funny side to Lucas. Hopefully he’s someone who you can laugh at but can also empathise with in certain scenes.’’

James hopes the audience loves the musical as much as he does.

‘‘They can expect a belly full of laughs and will be mesmerised by everything the cast and crew behind-the-scenes has done, whether it be make-up, costumes and sets,’’ he said.

‘‘Everyone has worked so hard to make the show seem real and amazing. The audience should love every minute of it.’’

The Addams Family will be held at the Paramount from May 24 to June 1. Tickets are on sale at the Paramount.