My Fair Lady star makes day loverly

Actor and former pupil Dominic West opens the new Pre-School section at Westbourne School
Actor and former pupil Dominic West opens the new Pre-School section at Westbourne School

STAGE and screen star Dominic West met the next generation of young acting talent - on a visit to his old Sheffield school.

The award-winning actor, currently thrilling Crucible audiences in My Fair Lady, was officially opening the new pre-school at Westbourne in Broomhill.

And the 43-year-old was delighted to hear that the eight under-fives currently on roll are enjoying special drama classes.

It was on the Westbourne School stage that Dominic first cut his acting teeth, appearing in shows like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

And during his run in Othello at the Crucible in 2011, he returned the compliment by holding acting workshops for some of the pupils.

Yesterday he told The Star: “Every time I come back to the school I’m astonished at how it has grown and flourished.

“I’m amazed they can pack so much on to such a small site.

“It’s so funny - when I was here back in the dark ages it was only a prep school and only for boys.

“It’s great that the young ones are enjoying drama - I had a great time here and it’s where I learned to act.”

Dominic said he’d had a wonderful time playing Prof Higgins in My Fair Lady - a show that sold out quickly and has attracted rave reviews.

“I’ve played a lot of villains recently so it’s made a change to be someone more decent,” he said. “There’s been talk of the production transferring to the West End. The cast is certainly good enough, especially Carly Bawden who plays Eliza - she’s brilliant, a real star in the making.

“And I’d certainly be up for it.”

Before that Dominic is going to India for three weeks to shoot a documentary, before taking on the role of Richard Burton in a BBC4 film about the actor’s later life.

“I’ll be playing him aged 59 so goodness knows why they want me!” he laughed. “It may be that Helena Bonham-Carter plays Elizabeth Taylor.

“But I certainly want to come back to the Crucible – it’s a great place and I’ll come as often as I can.

“Two of my sisters still live here and we had a great family reunion at Christmas.”

It’s the first time in its 127-year history that Westbourne has had a pre-school, which has opened its doors this term in response to parental demand. Apart from the drama classes, there are special lessons too in French, Spanish and PE in the unit, which used to be a reception class.