FLICKY HARRISON looks ahead to

a special visit from the Swindon star

Fresh from picking up her Olivier award for Best Actress, Swindon's Billie Piper will be returning to her home town to pass on tips to aspiring actors.

An audience with Billie-style event has been organised for two sessions in May at the Shoebox Theatre in Regent Circus, Swindon. The former Dr Who companion became patron of the Shoebox Theatre earlier this year and she came to the launch of the 50-seat studio theatre, which supports new and contemporary drama and also provides training.

Billie said: “Venues like the Shoebox are really wonderful and important. When I was growing up in Swindon I came through the traditional drama training routes, which are great, but the Shoebox Theatre offers alternative ways of developing skills and gaining experience, which is really really exciting.”

Billie scooped her award for her role in Yerma at The Young Vic and in May she will be chatting to local actors aged 16 to 25 years about working in television, film and theatre and answering questions.

The Wrong Shoes Theatre Company managed the theatre and the artistic director, Luke Marquez said: “Having the support and guidance from Billie, who is at the forefront of British contemporary theatre, film and television right now, is invaluable to the Shoebox and the young actors that live in Swindon.”

Billie began as a pop star having a number one chart hit with the bouncy Because We Want To, but she became a real household name as Rose Tyler, the travelling companion to the ninth incarnation of The Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston. More TV credits followed including the title role in The Sally Lockheart Mysteries and films such as Mansfield Park playing Fanny Price.

Today Billie seems to be really in her comfort zone treading the boards of the London theatres with numerous Best Actress nominations culminating in her Oliver trophy.

To apply for a place on one of Billie's sessions, fill out the application form here: www.shoeboxtheatre.org.uk/billie - Flicky Harrison