Acting graduate on stage in War Horse sequel

Acting graduate on stage in War Horse sequel

School of Acting graduate Jonathan Houlston will be starring in the stage adaptation of Farm Boy, Michael Morpurgo’s sequel to War Horse.

Adapted and directed by the Lichfield Garrick’s Artistic Director, Daniel Buckroyd, ‘Farm Boy’ is the stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s compelling sequel to award-winning production War Horse.

Jonathan graduated with a BA in Acting from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2023 and has since landed a range of roles both on stage and screen.

In Farm Boy, Jonathan is set to star as Grandson alongside Alan Booty, who will take on the role of Grandpa.

Jonathan said: “It’s both exciting and daunting to be in the sequel to War Horse. It’s a privilege to be part of a story which is known and loved by so many, and I cannot wait for audiences to see it.”

“Farm Boy is the story of a grandpa, grandson and how the old Fordson tractor came to be at the back of grandpa's barn.

“Combining drama, storytelling and original music, Farm Boy is a family-friendly show that reminds us that stories really can reach out across the generations.

“I play Grandson, a young man torn between his love for the countryside and the idea of a life in the city. Although he has plans to study and travel, he can’t help but yearn for the simple pleasures of working with his grandpa on the farm.”

Jonathan Houlston (right) on stage alongside Alan BootyJonathan’s time at the Conservatoire has paved the path for him to now be able to take on roles like Grandson. He said: “Studying at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I count myself lucky to have had constant support from my tutors and peers.

“It was quite a big leap to leave my small town of Gorseinon in Wales to Birmingham, but thankfully it was the right decision.

“Without the course, I wouldn’t be where I am today. From performing a musical to a sold-out audience, to working with a director from the BBC, the list of incredible opportunities goes on.”

“In July 2023, I even worked professionally with the course leader Danièle Sanderson at the Attic Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon.”

Before landing his latest role in Farm Boy, Jonathan toured a new piece, ‘The Making of Lucy’, around Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds with Stroud Theatre Company, culminating in performances at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.

He has even founded his own theatre company, Mad Dragon Theatre, and wrote, directed and acted in its debut production ‘Physical Education’.

The play was performed in Birmingham in November 2023, where it received critical acclaim. This includes a five-star review calling it “an almost flawless debut” and a four-star review stating it was “one of the best new plays for quite a while”.

Jonathan also played Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk at The Cidermill Theatre in Chipping Campden over Christmas, and he has even had a guest lead on an episode of BBC One’s Doctors, which was broadcast in January 2024.

Farm Boy takes to the stage at the Lichfield Garrick from Thursday 29 February to Sunday 10 March.

Find out more and buy tickets.

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