West End comes to Penwortham as theatre and TV star Layton Williams pays a visit

Posted on - 8th October, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Penwortham, Preston News, Schools
Layton Williams speaking to pupils at Penwortham Priory Academy
Layton told pupils about the importance of being themselves

The West End came to Penwortham Priory Academy when theatre and TV star Layton Williams hosted a drama and dance workshop for pupils. 


The Bad Education actor, from Bury, spent a day at the Penwortham school with Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils.

The workshop was organised by Drama teacher Felicity Howell.

Miss Howell had taken a group of pupils to London last November to see Layton in ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ at the Apollo Theatre. 

The group was meant to attend a workshop before watching the West End performance but it didn’t go to plan, so Layton brought theatre to Priory instead.

Layton said: “I never forget anything but I had a really busy week and I forgot the workshop in November. I did manage to get there and give them something but I wanted to make up for it and so I came here.

“With the theatres being closed during lockdown I have been delivering workshops and, as I am at my mum’s in Bury at the moment, it was easy for me to get here.” 

Layton wants to inspire the next generation of theatre and television stars and he got the group to do some of the moves from ‘Everyone’s Talking About Jamie.’

Layton teaches the group some moves from ‘Everyone’s Talking About Jamie'
Layton teaches the group some moves from ‘Everyone’s Talking About Jamie’

He admitted he “fell into” drama when he was around 11 after going along to his cousin’s drama classes.

Layton went to the famous Carol Godby Theatre Workshop and then went to an open audition for Billy Elliot with around 4,000 others – and got the part.

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“I was suddenly a star in the West End, then I went into television and then it’s grown from there. It’s gone so fast as I am doing what I love. 

“I was on tour but obviously I am not at the moment due to Covid so it’s nice to visit schools, have rapport, reach out to people in person and hopefully inspire pupils.”

Layton Williams with Penwortham Priory Academy pupils
Miss Howell said Layton’s visit inspired and empowered pupils

Miss Howell said: “Having Layton Williams come to Priory has been such an exciting opportunity for us. The Arts is growing every year here and there is a genuine passion for it.  

“We study “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” on our Drama curriculum so they couldn’t wait to meet the real star of the show. We also took a group of students to watch it in London, last year. 

“Layton worked his magic, giving students a taste of West End choreography and allowing them a peek at just how hard the industry is; it was nice to see the students taking so much from the opportunity.

“Layton also gave a very important message to all the students, be yourself and make everything you do count. His charisma was infectious and inspired many students, some students now want to be more involved with the Arts and others have been empowered by it.”

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What do you think of Layton visiting Penwortham? Are you a fan of his? Let us know in the comments.

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