New stage to a star career

Actor Sean McKenzie
Actor Sean McKenzie

AN actor raised in St Annes and given his first taste of acting at school in Lytham is relishing a landmark return to home ground.

Sean McKenzie will make his professional debut at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre – 20 years after featuring there as a drama student and after two decades of non-stop work in film stage and a succession of popular TV shows.

“I am amazed it has taken so long for the opportunity to come along for me to act professionally at the Grand,” said Sean, whose parents Sean and Carolyn still live in St Annes along with the actors’ three brothers, Liam – lead singer with local band The Coustics – Jamie and Daniel. “I acted there as a student and used to go along to watch as many professional productions as I could.”

Sean, now based in Derbyshire, is touring with The Lady In The Van by Alan Bennett and takes the role of the playwright himself in the production which runs at the Grand from next Tuesday.

Born in 1970, Sean attended Our Lady Star of the Sea School in St Annes before first taking up acting at St Bede’s High in Lytham.

“Drama was after school in those days and I remember all the help I got from Jeff Lynam and Anne Bouget as well as featuring in productions with Stephen Tompkinson, who was a year above me,” said Sean.

He went on to study drama under Brian Hindle at Blackpool and The Fylde College along with the likes of John Simm and Vicky Entwistle and earned a coveted place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Sean featured in TV’s The Bill and London’s Burning while still at RADA and an extensive credits list includes parts in the likes of Downton Abbey and HBO’s John Adams.