A BUDDING actor from Solihull, who is hoping to make big strides in the acting world, has landed himself a dream role in The Seven Acts of Mercy with The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).
Nicky Priest – who has a mild form of Asperger’s Syndrome – always imagined a life in the spotlight and started treading the boards as a youngster.
Eager to get his foot in the door, the former Solihull Sixth Form student joined the Open Theatre for aspiring actors with learning difficulties at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Now, aged 26, Nicky is taking to the stage in RSC’s production of The Seven Acts of Mercy as Danny – a disabled character who has his benefits cut after being deemed fit to work.
Speaking to The Observer, Nicky said it was a privilege to play a character he could step inside the shoes of.
He added: “I was elated when I found out because I felt it was now my chance to establish myself in the acting world.
“Shortly after I graduated from University, I was living on the dole for a long-time and found it extremely difficult to find work.
“But I was elated when I found out I had got the role of Danny as I knew it was now my chance to establish myself.
“I can relate to Danny so much, as he is a character with special needs who is affected by benefits cuts after being deemed fit for work.
“It has enabled me to put myself in the characters shoes and see how powerless you can feel.”
The Seven Acts of Mercy is running at The Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon until February 10.