Thursday, February 13, 2014
A young amateur actor who died from cystic fibrosis just days after his wedding has been given a “showbiz” style send off by friends and family in one of the theatres where he performed.
More than 350 people packed Cromer Pier Pavilion for a Gary Higgs - Curtain Call event to celebrate his life following a family funeral service earlier in the day.
There was song, poetry and video to chart the short but full life of the 23-year-old, who performed at the venue with the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society.
He died on January 27, the opening night of the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society’s Anything Goes musical at the Theatre Royal in which he was also due to take part until his condition worsened and he had to drop out.
Just days earlier he married fiancee and fellow stage fan Stephanie Moore in hospital. He had proposed to her during a Cromer pier sunset. Gary came from Holt, but the couple lived in Norwich.
At the pier event on Wednesday Stephanie read a poem written by Gary called One Day, Every Day Forever, which also made up part of their wedding vows.
There was an introduction by his dad Stephen, and a song Not Alone by brothers Adam and Jim.
Other items included live songs from two musicals Gary appeared in - Half a Sixpence by CSODS (Gary’s first show with the group) and Hello Dolly by NNOS, in which he played Barnaby despite being unwell.
CSODS chairman Andrew Payne, who presented the event with his NNOS counterpart David Pulling in liaison with the family, said: “It was an uplifting, moving and fitting curtain call for a talented and much-loved husband, son, brother and friend - ending with a spontaneous standing ovation.”
Donations and collections in Mr Higgs’ memory have raised more than £7,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and continue via www.garyandstephaniehiggs.co.uk.
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