Hayley Thompson remembers having loads of adventures after moving to Sutton, in Norfolk, when she was six. Now she’s inviting youngsters to join her on another at The Workshop in King’s Lynn.
The Italia Conti School trained actor is playing explorer Lucy in My First: Into The Snow Globe for ages five and under over Christmas and the New Year.
She said: “I couldn’t wait to meet all the children and we’ve had so much fun playing together.”
Her love of acting began at Stalham High School, where she made her stage debut in Bugsy Malone, telling me: “I had a wonderful English and drama teacher who was fantastic and encouraging. She suggested my parents sent me to the Theatre Royal’s Arts Course.”
She’s since gone on to appear on stages across the UK in shows including The National Killing Day, The Great Escape, Mr Loverman, Blue Ray, Punching Jane, There for the Grace of God, Guardian Angel and One-Eighty at Norwich Playhouse.
Hayley, who’d love to play Mrs Weasley in a Harry Potter revival if Julie Walters was unavailable, and recently made a set of fake ice cubes magically disappear from the filmset she was working on, has fond memories of growing up in Norfolk.
“My parents moved here because when they were really small, they remember visiting places like Great Yarmouth and Cromer. They really enjoyed it because they were from just outside London. It was completely different. They wanted the same experience for me and my brother. I remember being very young, going on the snails in Yarmouth, walking along all the shores of North Norfolk, having loads of adventures.”
She was certainly full of the Christmas spirit during the first performances of My First: Into The Snow Globe at sister venue The Garage sees her battle blizzards, sling snowballs and dance with a yeti in our new sensory studio space.
Hayley loves to play. Her favourite childhood present was a dolls house. But socks may be a good shout for anyone looking to get her something now.
“Superstitions… I have a thing about socks. If I start wearing a pair at the start of the run, I try to wear them throughout. And I always have my script somewhere in the building.”
Hayley, who’s worked hard all year so is definitely on Santa’s nice list, will probably unwind by watching one of her many favourite festive films.
“If I was to press play on my film collection it would start with Elf. He’s a loveable, fun, giant that makes me laugh so much I’d love to play with him. Then The Muppet’s Christmas Carol. I remember watching it with my friends when I was small, singing along to all the songs. Confession, I only recently watched Die Hard. I’d totally put it in my Christmas collection now.”
Reviewers have loved My First: Into The Snow Globe so far, calling it “Absolutely wonderful… the most ideal show for tiny tots… an elaborate game of make-believe… my two loved every second… magical.”
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