Reece Dinsdale brings his new show to Wakefield
Award winning actor, director and accidental Twitter star, Normanton-born Reece Dinsdale made a shocking admission during an interview to promote his new show at the Theatre Royal Wakefield - he has never once set foot in the theatre.
He will right that wrong on November 3 when he brings his show Reece’s Pieces to Wakefield, which promises to be a joyous evening full of stories and anecdotes from his illustrious career.
He said: “I didn’t come from a theatrical background.
“I only ever went to the theatre three or four times before I went to drama school and that was to the Leeds Grand and to the West Yorkshire Playhouse when it was still at the university.
“When I applied to study drama I had to go before the Wakefield Education Board to ask for a discretionary grant.
“When I was asked why I thought they should give me a grant I replied ‘If things go well I could one day come back to Wakefield and pay you back.
“So, it might have taken me 40 years but this is my paying back time.”
Now 62, Reece comes across as a warm, funny and an extremely likeable man.
Despite living in London for 24 years and losing his Yorkshire accent he has slipped back into it since moving home to Yorkshire when his daughter was born - he now lives in Harrogate.
Reece never talks about his family preferring to keep their lives separate to his own.
Reece’s Pieces began as a project during lockdown to take him out of his comfort zone and honour his dad’s last wishes.
He said: “Dad died two years ago and was a huge inspiration to me - part of the reason I do this is that his dying words to me were to go and show people what I can do and what I’m about.
“My dad’s passing really hurt and his parting gift was to give me strength to do things I wasn’t sure about doing before.”
Candidly, Reece admits that he has always had difficulty speaking to people out of his circle of family and friends and that being an actor and speaking and acting someone else’s words meant he was able to express his emotions.
He said: “During lockdown I set myself a challenge to see if I could hold court for five minutes. To perhaps help people through lockdown and challenge myself.”
The five minutes became an hour and then by the end of the 10-week run Reece was speaking for an hour and three-quarters with thousands of followers logging on.
The transition to the stage came about at the end of the first lockdown thanks to his good friend James Brining, associate director of Leeds Playhouse.
Reece added: “James said ‘you have a ready-made show - I’ve seen it. Would you be prepared to help us reopen Leeds Playhouse and transform it from your front room to the stage?’
“We changed the format so that he would ask me questions and I would talk about this and that, my life and career and whatever it may be.”
Reece draws the line at politics saying: “The first rule of Reece’s Pieces is no politics otherwise you lose half your audience straight away.”
A year later he is back and is taking Reece’s Pieces on tour, with Wakefield the fourth venue. He said: “Finally I get to come home.
“It’s so special, half of Normanton is coming and my sister is bringing my mum who’s 90. She’s not seen the show yet.”
A couple of friends who he has known since his schooldays will also be there in the audience.
Reece hasn’t decided yet who he will be joining him on stage as his host - it’s a decision he usually make a week before the show.
There are still a few tickets left for the Wakefield show.
Visit www. theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk/ to book,