A WEST End star from Wearside made a whistle-stop visit to his old college after performing in Sunderland.
Nathan Ryles was back on home turf when he appeared at the Sunderland Empire in West Side Story earlier this month.
The Seaham-born star, who now lives in London, used the chance to return to Newcastle College’s Performance Academy to inspire the next generation of performers.
Nathan graduated in Performing Arts from Newcastle College four years ago.
Since then he secured a three-year scholarship with Laines Theatre Arts, one of the biggest theatre schools in London, before landing the role as Indio from the Sharks in West Side Story.
During a series of three masterclasses at the college, musical theatre students had the opportunity to learn choreography from West Side Story as well as hear first-hand what working professionals do and gain advice on making it in showbusiness.
Nathan said: “It was a real pleasure to come back to the college. There is some amazing talent, and I can already see stars in the making.
“I can’t thank the college enough for what they did for me. When I first started, I was undertrained and wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and first-class training I had from my tutors.
“Having the opportunity to speak to industry professionals was always the best part of the course, and I hope that I have been able to inspire the students to think: if I work hard enough, I could do that.”
Carly Woodhouse, course leader in musical theatre at the colleg e, added: “It has been a fantastic experience for the students to be able to spend time and learn from Nathan. We are extremely grateful to him, and it is very aspirational for the students to see an ex-student go on to achieve so much.”