Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without mince pies, mulled wine and a good old fashioned pantomime. It's an English tradition that goes back to the Middle Ages so it's no surprise that during the Christmas break we flock to see our favourite celebrities in theatres across the country.
Worcestershire is home to its very own theatre star – Oliver Brooks.
Oliver is currently starring in the West End hit, Maltilda. But before joining the cast of this hit musical – Oliver performed at the Swan Theatre in various productions and of course Christmas Panto.
Oliver said: "I always wanted to be an actor. I remember being at Primary School, knowing that that was what I was going to be. I never considered anything else."
Oliver was determined to be an actor and as such steered his training to incorporate his passion. "I was very lucky that my school (King's School, Worcester) had wonderful facilities and we put on some great productions."
"I also had great encouragement at Worcester Sixth Form College during my AS/A levels. I was lucky enough to be taught by the late Pietro Cardillo, along with Rhona, Alison, Jules and Mrs Parry. It was here that I learnt how important motivation & self-discipline is to a career in acting."
Oliver has worked hard to get to where he is today and has some great advice for budding actors in Worcestershire.
He said: "The main piece of advice I would give to anyone wanting a career in acting would be to make sure you truly want to be an actor before you start any form of vocational training."
"I had the time of my life at Drama School (Birmingham School of Acting) and would not change it for the world. With ten years of experience, I am now lucky enough to perform on a West End stage every day and it makes me very, very happy."
"Make sure that acting will make you happy and go for it, believe in your ability and always be proud of every acting job you do. You learn new things all the time and I believe that happiness is the way forward."
Oliver has since moved to London but he still comes back to visit friends and family in Worcestershire. We asked Oliver where his favourite places were in the county. Here is his definitive list:
- Bewdley, a beautiful Georgian town, right on the River Severn
- The Swan Theatre, Worcester because I have many happy memories there. I performed on that stage, in several productions with Worcester Rep, including four of their wonderful Pantomimes.
- Worcester Cathedral, because we had our school services there and even as a grumpy teenager I was still overwhelmed by its grandeur and beautiful architectural design. I still haven't been to the top!
- Blakedown, because it's such a beautiful village and it's where I spend my family Christmases.