Actor Oscar Conlon-Morrey to star in Nativity! The Musical at Theatre Royal in Nottingham
An actor who went to drama sessions in Newark, to overcome his shyness as a child, is in the cast of a smash-hit musical which is on a UK tour.
Oscar Conlon-Morrey is in Nativity! The Musical which comes to the Theatre Royal in Nottingham a week on Wednesday for a five-day run.
The production is based at St Bernadette's School, where teacher Mr Maddens attempts to put on a musical Nativity. Mayhem ensues after he promises that a Hollywood producer is coming to see the show to turn it into a film.
Twenty-five-year-old Oscar plays Mr Rye, a PE teacher at the school, who threatens to ruin things.
He is also the understudy for the main character of Mr Poppy, a crazy but loveable teaching assistant. Oscar was given the opportunity to play the part twice during its run at the Liverpool Empire. The theatre was packed with an audience of more than 2,000 both times. They loved him.
"It was emotionally draining, awe-inspiring and the most career-defining moment of my life," said Oscar. "It was absolutely brilliant."
Oscar's love of acting started when he attended the Nearly Instant Theatre Session in Newark run by Carolyn Drury. They hit it off and still remain the best of friends.
"She is the most supportive ever," he said. "She is like a second mum to me."
Whenever he gets a part in a show he phones his mum first and then Carolyn.
When Oscar was 12 he was cast as Oliver in the Newark Amateur Operatic Society's production which he loved.
"It was the first time I had been in a professional working theatre, he said. "I remember the whole experience — the smells and the lights. It felt like coming home."
Oscar, a former pupil of Highfields School and Tuxford School, studied musical theatre at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and graduated with a BA (hons) degree.
He did so well he was awarded the Gyearbour Asante Prize for the top-scoring undergraduate performance student of the year. He was also selected to compete in the Stephen Sondheim Society Performer of the Year 2017 where he so impressed society patron Julia McKenzie she presented him with a special prize for the best comedy performer.
Since then Oscar has rarely been off the stage. He was cast in the Toxic Avenger which played at the Edinburgh Fringe and the West End and then played Simeon, one of the brothers in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and also took on the role of the baker.
He auditioned for Nativity! The Musical this summer and loves the show. He is particularly looking forward to coming to Nottingham.
"I have seen so many things on the stage at the Theatre Royal, so for me to actually perform there will be really special," he said.
Oscar will continue with the show until early next year when he has another exciting project to look forward to - he has been cast in a production of Only Fools and Horses the Musical.
"I am enjoying the most incredible life," he said.