On Friday 12th October, 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 Elliot in 'Billy Elliot: The Musical' 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 original ‘Billy’.
James ran one workshop for 50 students, lasting 4 hours. It included a vocal warm-up, learning 3 part harmony and recreating original choreography. The students were focusing on The Greatest Showman song 'This is Me'. 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 workshop 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.
Charlotte exclaimed: 'This workshop was amazing! I loved the chance to sing in harmony with my friends - it sounded amazing!' and Tom said: 'James was great - He's done so many great things and he's so inspiring! The dance was fast but when we all picked it up it looked brilliant'.
"It was so fantastic to have a working professional in school who had so much experience at such a young age. 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" said Miss Bonsall, Head of Drama and Theatre. "I was so proud of how focused and energised students were and how much they wanted to learn and engage. The students sounded beautiful as an ensemble and performed with commitment and focus. The students are looking forward to friends and family seeing their performance of the piece in The Evening of theatre in January."