STAR Trek actor Patrick Stewart has called for more big theatre productions to open outside London.
The Mirfield-born actor, who is also chancellor of Huddersfield University, wants more people through the country to be able to enjoy theatre and the big-name productions more commonly associated with London’s West End.
It was announced last week that Mr Stewart had agreed to continue his role as chancellor of the university for a second term. He described the experience so far as “humbling”.
But his now mission is to encourage more theatre productions to open throughout the country instead of just in the West End.
Stewart, who starred as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation, is currently appearing on stage with Sir Ian McKellen in Waiting For Godot.
The show is touring the UK before going to the Theatre Royal in London. e said that it had been a “terrific experience” for himself and Sir Ian.
The 68-year-old actor, who also starred in the X-Men movies, said he believed more productions should open outside London.
“I don’t know why it doesn’t happen more often,” he said. “Ian and I have often commented that our first experiences of the best of British theatre were seen in touring houses.”
He cited the success of his show, as well as the stage production of Calendar Girls, which toured the UK before its London run, and said: “I understand that Calendar Girls has just gone into town after a very successful regional run.
“Perhaps that and Waiting For Godot will encourage actors to do what we have done.
And he said it was Sir Ian who suggested Waiting For Godot should tour before its London opening.
Mr Stewart added: “He was the one who said ‘I want to take this out and take it around before we go to London, let’s make it a national show’”.