Tasmanians mourn death of arts identity Wal Eastman

A champion of local theatre and formerly a respected critic with The Mercury, Eastman died this week aged 89.

In 2010, Wal Eastman (pictured here with his wife Berenice) received the Order of Australia for his services to the arts and the community. Image courtesy The Mercury.

Described by those who knew him as ‘one of nature’s real gentlemen’, ‘unfailingly kind,’ ‘humane and remarkably wonderful,’ and ‘a stalwart of Hobart’s theatre scene,’ Walter ‘Wal’ Eastman OAM passed away on Tuesday 9 January. He was 89.  

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts