James Hagan began his career at the Perth Playhouse in 1975. After spending seven years touring Britain and Europe with the acclaimed Australian theatre company, Triad Stage Alliance, he worked with the English speaking theatres of Frankfurt (Germany) and Florence (Italy). Since returning to Australia in 1985, James has worked constantly in theatre, film and radio, performing in over forty theatre productions in Australia alone.
James is the recipient of the New York Radio Festival Silver (1st) prize 1987 and the New York Bronze (2nd) prize 1989 for narration in radio advertisements. He is a well known voice over artist in Australia, New Zealand and Britain for his anti-smoking commercials with the voice-overs for Quit Smoking Australia that warn ‘every cigarette is doing you damage’.
James’s numerous stage credits include seasons with Hole In The Wall, Black Swan, Cross Roads, The Sydney Theatre Company, The Ensemble, Hunter Valley Theatre Company, and the Marian Street Theatre. For Parramatta Theatre Company: Henry Higgins in Pygmalion and Claudius in Hamlet. For the New Theatre: Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For Shakespeare By The Sea he played Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, The Duke in Measure For Measure, Lear in King Lear, Baptista in Taming Of The Shrew, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Jacques in As You Like It and Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale. More recent stage work has been with the Bell Theatre Company playing Baptista in Taming of the Shrew and the professor in Oleana at the Tap Gallery.
James has received great reviews for his stage work including: Baylor in Lie of the Mind, Perth Playhouse: ‘James Hagan as Beth’s father almost but not quite overwhelms the rest of the cast.’ Ron Banks, West Australian, 1987. And as John in Oleana, Tap Gallery: ‘As the professor, James Hagan is superb.’ Colin Rose, Sun Herald, 2002. James won the award of Best Actor from the Equity Guild of WA for his performance in Red. The Award was presented 23 January 2013 at the Perth Cultural Centre.
He has worked extensively for ABC Radio, recording works as diverse as book readings, straight plays, scientific programs and poetry. His voice has been used in countless television commercials and radio voice-overs.
As well as being a respected theatre practitioner, James has also appeared in numerous film and television productions such as Intransit, Mary MacKillop, Wind, Rondella, The Diary of Watkin Tench, Headstart, Artful Dodger, Backburner, Stark, GP, Police Rescue II, Maths Break, and Fat Cat and the Time Bandits. Recent film roles include: a mystery man in Needle (2010), the lead male role as the husband in Little Sparrows (2010), the police superintendent in The Great Mint Swindle (Geoff Bennett, 2011), and the exorcist Father Bernard in Foreshadow (Carmelo Musca, 2013).
James is in great demand as a voice and drama teacher to actors, announcers and business people. He has been a speech and drama coach for NIDA Outreach, Department of Education Performing Arts Sydney, John Curtin Performing Arts and various Screen Acting Workshops in both Sydney and Perth.