We knew Strictly Come Dancing 2023 star Layton Williams was going to slay it as one of our new patrons.
The West End performer, who is partnered with Nikita Kuzmin in this year’s competition, said of his involvement with the Trust: “I’m honoured to be asked and will 100% bring some FAB to Norfolk. It’s a place I adore touring to and have many fond memories of performing and teaching here.
“I am looking forward to working with your young people – both personally and through my company Pros From The Shows – to inspire and motivate them through our workshops and give them some of the joy of living their best lives through the arts.
“Don’t waste energy thinking you’re not good enough because you all have something special to offer the work. Challenge yourself and don’t compare yourself to others! Do you! Keep striving, stay thankful and humble. Go SLAY!
“I hope to inspire young LGBTQ+ people and people of colour especially and let ya’ll know you can make something of this career if you like. Whether that’s in front, or behind the scenes. There’s room for us all to shine and live our true authentic lives.
“The mission of The Garage Trust resonates with me personally. I believe everyone should have access to the arts. Being able to develop skills and explore techniques in a safe and supported space is incredibly important for children who may live in difficult circumstances. To build confidence and allow them to dream is a gift.
“The importance of organisations like this is huge. Not only do the children and young adults in your programmes benefit but also their families are assisted and supported. The current backdrop of loss and hardship for so many, whether financial or personal, means that it is crucial that people support and contribute where possible. I’ll do my bit.”
Layton was born in Bury, Manchester. He began his career at the age of 12 playing Billy in the West End production of Billy Elliot. He made his debut TV appearance as Kylie in the BBC comedy Beautiful People. He went on to train at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts which was documented on CBBC’s School For Stars.
His theatre credits include Jamie in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Apollo Theatre), Paul in Kiss Me Kate (Sheffield Crucible), Seaweed in Hairspray! (2018 UK Tour); Angel in Rent (London/UK Tour), The Car Man (Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures), Simon in The Lord of the Flies (Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures) and Young Michael in Thriller Live (West End). He’ll be reprising his role as Jamie in the UK tour of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie soon.
TV and film credits also include Rocketman (Paramount), Larry in Benidorm (ITV), Stephen in the BBC comedy Bad Education series and feature film, Murder They Hope (Gold) and The Cleaner (BBC1).
Layton is also the director of Pros From The Shows which provides high quality workshops for young performers. They’ve reached thousands of students across the country hoping to inspire the next generation and nurture talent.
He is one of several new patrons. Joining him are:
Actor and theatre producer Lady Anwen Hurt. She is also Artistic Director of Holt Festival, pro-chancellor of NUA, a trustee of the Sir John Hurt Film Trust and a member of the board of management of Sheringham Little Theatre.
Actor, artist, designer and actor trainer Susan Kyd.