Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Djalili drops in at Royal Holloway

News Release from Royal Holloway 10/11/2011

Hollywood actor and award winning comedian Omid Djalili, en route to a venue in Oxford, diverted his tour bus via Royal Holloway to engage with the Universities students in an intimate ‘In The Spotlight’ question and answer.

Djalili, star of Gladiator, The Mummy, Notting Hill, currently touring his selling out stand up show, met members of The Student Workshop, in the drama department’s Studio Theatre, to share some of his knowledge and anecdotes from the entertainment industry. The Student Workshop, a society founded and operated by drama students, who stage their work throughout university term time, were able to indulge in the wise words, jokes and industry secrets of a performer held high in their aspirations.

Grace Holiday, the societies social secretary, was proud to state before the session: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Omid Djalili and his colleagues to The Student Workshop and Royal Holloway.” as Djalili also brought with him his tour and production managers, Andrew Jobbins and Shaun Weager. This really opened up the session to the broad interests of the students, allowing them to not only learn how it is to be performing a stand up tour, but also everything that goes on behind the scenes.
He kindly stated he enjoyed passing on his experience to budding performers saying: “their fresh energy reminds me of how I started out and where I began”. He acknowledged the importance of experienced industry experts offering their time to those beginning their careers, to which the students were all enormously grateful.
Djalili clearly felt comfortable amongst the students revealing personal stories about his time as an actor and a comic. Most notably he recalled, whilst filming ‘Gladiator’, the moment the respected and feared Oliver Reed looked him in the eye and said: “Are you a method actor? Do you realise I am going to cup your testicles now.” Djalili’s professional and warm personality ensured the students came away from the experience entertained and richer in their knowledge of the industry.

This isn’t the first time the society has had the privilege of a star in the Royal Holloway’s drama department spilling out experience for the students to absorb. Last year the Studio theatre was graced with the presence of stage and screen actor Timothy West. Also, in years previous, students have listened in awe to film and stage legends Kevin Spacey and Alan Rickman. Third year drama student and president of The Student Workshop, Adam Penny said: “‘In The Spotlight’ is a brilliant initiative that students at this stage in their career truly appreciate and gain huge inspiration from the speakers we have managed to attract.”

Whilst the drama students at Royal Holloway begin to digest the inspiration and laughter brought to them by Djalili, they will also be hugely anticipating who The Student Workshop will be able to attract next.
See related article on the Royal Holloway website http://www.rhul.ac.uk/aboutus/newsandevents/news/newsarticles/djalilidropsinatroyalholloway.aspx

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