STAR actress Maxine Peake, who has appeared in drama programmes Silk and Shameless, has been lending her expertise to budding actors and actresses in Chorley.
Maxine, from Bolton, who has made her career in theatre, film, television and radio, passed on her skills to students in a master class at Cartwright Drama Studio on Wednesday.
She said: “The session was really inspiring - great questions from an obviously dedicated and talented bunch.
“And the studio is fantastic. I wish it had been around years ago.”
The studio, which is about to move into new premises on Fellery Street, opened just over 12 months ago when award-winning playright Jim Cartwright wanted to provide affordable acting classes in his local town as a way of “giving something back”.
“Jim is breaking boundaries,” Maxine added. “I applaud him whole-heartedly.”
Jim said he was “thrilled” when Maxine agreed to do the master class.
He said: “Not only is she a real inspiration to anyone interested in working in the performing arts industry, but she also epitomises the whole ethos behind our classes, by being a girl from an ordinary northern background who has pursued her dream to become one of the countries leading actresses and stars of theatre, TV and film.”
“The session was just something amazing.
“Maxine gave brilliant insights into the profession, wonderful motivating stories and advice and loads of laughter.
“For all her incredible success she remains admirably down to earth, and communicates in an honest and genuine way that students loved and really responded to.”
Maxine is the first of a number of stars to give a guest class at the studio, with Coronation Street’s Beverley Callard and comedian and actor Jason Manford also lined up.
The business has thrived in the last year, attracting students of all backgrounds from as far as Sheffield, Manchester and the Lake District, and agents and directors from the industry.
Jim said the studio and masterclasses are his way of giving something back to the Chorley community.
Himself and Tracy Higgins, who is in charge of the youth section at the studio, are aiming to “put Chorley firmly on the map”.
For more information about the classes and studio, visit www.cartwrightdramastudio.com.