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'We have lost an immense character'

Paul Maccoy onstage for the Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society’s 2005 Christmas panto (File photograph)

An actor, singer and stage prop maker who was beloved by the Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society has died.

Paul Maccoy, an insurance executive for the firm Freisenbruch-Meyer, was 63.

Mr Maccoy was admired by friends at the BMDS as a larger than life character even by the standards of the stage.

An accomplished singer with a fondness for ballads, as well as a former president of the Bermuda Folk Club, Mr Maccoy was known for storytelling, meticulous costumes and colourful humour, often in evidence at the annual Non-Mariner’s Race at the West End.

Dennis Lister, the Speaker of the House, told MPs on Friday: “He was one of those who truly believed in doing it his way, and his presence was always strong.”

Mr Lister offered condolences to Mr Maccoy’s wife, Miriam, and family.

He added: “He will be missed by many.”

Alan Brooks, a friend, fellow BMDS member and general manager of PW Marine, said: “In an environment such as theatre, where characters are much in evidence, he stood out as one of the characters who was much loved and admired.”

Mr Brooks added that Mr Maccoy’s friends had toyed with creating a “Character of the Year” trophy in his name.

He said: “His talents were diverse.

“He was a very good actor, a very able and entertaining singer, an erstwhile poet and an excellent raconteur.

“Many were the times when he would regale us with stories, some of which were hilarious, and some of pathos, which would result in not a dry eye in the house.”

Mr Brooks said Mr Maccoy was a “props supremo” and was skilled in the creation of stage weapons ancient and modern.

He added: “We would be afraid of taking them out of the theatre since they were so realistic, despite their harmlessness.”

Mr Maccoy outfitted a platoon of 12 actors with prop rifles, pistols and grenades for the BMDS production in 2010 of the British comedy classic Dad’s Army.

Mr Brooks said the production was “a tour de force”.

He added: “He will be remembered especially for his role playing Captain Mainwaring, which he delivered superbly.”

Mr Maccoy had his head shaved to portray the bald Home Guard Captain.

Mr Brooks said: “When it came to the performances, his delivery was impeccable. We were quite literally in awe of what he did.”

He added Mr Maccoy was “the consummate host” in a home “laden with cats” as well as dogs Liam and Ceilidh and stocked with an impressive collection of malt whiskies.

Mr Brooks said: “Put simply, we have lost an immense character and his enduring legacy will be a smile on the listener’s face when someone mentions his name.”

Mr Maccoy was also a keen photographer whose pictures during hurricanes appeared in The Royal Gazette.

⋅ Paul John Raymond Maccoy, an actor, singer and photographer as well as an insurance executive, was born on March 3, 1958. He died on March 17, 2021, aged 63.

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Published March 31, 2021 at 8:54 am (Updated June 15, 2021 at 6:14 pm)

'We have lost an immense character'

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