James Ward, who has died in Nanyuki Cottage Hospital in Kenya, was for 35 years an actor and director at the Donovan Maule Theatre in Nairobi and later at the Phoenix Theatre. When that, too, came to an end, he had a happy retirement job running the theatre at Braeburn Schools.
It was 1966 and James was employed by Don and Molly Maule on a six-month contract. Three years later, Annabel Maule joined the company and a very popular stage partnership was born. Following the Maules retirement to Mombasa, Annabel ran the theatre, with James continuing to play a prominent part. He continued working for the Phoenix Theatre, which took the place of the DM.
He trained at Central School of Speech and Drama and had a busy career in Rep at Dundee, Coventry (where he worked with a school contemporary Trevor Nunn) and Colchester among many other venues, as well as television.
James loved Kenya and explored most of the country enthralled by the wildlife. He is remembered in Nairobi with affection, and in this country by the many actors who worked at the Donovan Maule Theatre.
Born in December 1934, he died on January 20, aged 78.