A THEATRE star offered advice to young drama students.
Gavin Spokes is currently playing the lead role of Francis Henshall in the touring production of One Man, Two Guvnors.
He took part in a question and answer session with theatre studies students from Greenhead College.
Gavin is playing the part in the National Theatre comedy originally made famous by James Corden.
Set in 1960s Brighton, an easily confused Francis is employed by two men.
They are local gangster Roscoe Crabbe and upper class criminal Stanley Stubbers.
Francis tries to keep the two from meeting, in order to prevent each of them learning that he is working for someone else.
Gavin answered a wide range of interesting questions fired at him by the students.
The actor explained that the best way to approach a role is to find your own identity with the part.
For the role of Francis he explained that he has to believe in the response and intelligence of the audience so that he can feed off them in every performance.
Paul Wood, the college’s press officer, said: “It was fascinating to learn how much exciting risk there is to take in a production which involves so much improvisation, slapstick and audience participation.
“Having seen the production the students enjoyed hearing a range of anecdotes, some hilariously recounting various incidents of mishaps and mayhem.
“It was also interesting that Gavin expressed his personal love for live theatre as opposed to acting in TV and film.
“Here the performing process is, for the most part, less exhilarating.”
The students also learnt about life as a touring actor and how the Royal National Theatre operates.
Gavin told them about the difference between performing in comedy and tragedy, methods of learning lines, directing methods and approaches to auditions.
Paul added: “This was a highly entertaining, relaxed yet informative meeting of students and actor.
“Both appeared to relish the mutually enjoyable exchange and easy-going interaction.”