On Wednesday 20 June, James Lomas, a West End and Olivier award winning actor, visited Highfields to inspire students across all 3 key stages. James Lomas, who played Billy in 2005, is an actor and professional performer, now specialising in high quality workshops in musical theatre. He has worked in the West End in many shows for thirteen years and became the youngest actor to receive a ‘Laurence Olivier Award’ for Best Actor for his role as the original ‘Billy’ in Billy Elliot the Musical. His other credits include Dirty Dancing, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita and Starlight Express.
James ran two workshops, each two hours long for 25 students. Each workshop included an acting section with a piece of script taken from the show, learning original choreography from the show and a performance of the song “Electricity” written by Elton John. James also brought in his special diaries/photos/awards (Laurence Olivier Award, Variety Club Award) and original clothing and costumes from the show. James answered many questions from inspired students. He told stories about his time spent with Elton John, Ken Dodd, David Beckham, David Walliams and many other celebrity professionals.
Students thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the workshops and were thrilled to get selfies with James at the end. He was truly inspiring for all students, particularly those applying for scholarships at London Theatre Schools in the near future.
Skye exclaimed: 'This workshop was amazing!' and Ben said: 'I loved it! He's done so many great things and he's so inspiring'.
Miss Bonsall, Head of Drama and Theatre, said "It was so fantastic to have a working professional in school who had so much experience at such a young age. James had his first audition at 13 with very little experience in Dance, knowing how much he wanted to be an actor. I think this opened students’ eyes to the entire performance industry, not just their chosen specialism. Seeing the children so enthusiastic is always fantastic, but this was another level because of his status in the industry and how relatable he is being from Sheffield and being a professional actor from the age of 14. I was so proud of how focused and energised students were and how much they wanted to learn and engage."