A YOUNG actor has learnt from a star of the West End before he takes to stage.

Matthew Emeny, aged 16, is set to play Reverend Shaw Moore in a Worcester Operatic and Dramatic Society Youth Section production of Footloose and David Essex, who played the role in the London hit, shared a few tips on how to portray the grumpy vicar.

Essex, whose career has combined theatre, films, television and music, took some time out to talk to the RGS Worcester pupil ahead of starring in the Dishwashers at Malvern Theatres, which runs until Saturday.

Matthew said: "Chatting to David really boosted my confidence and encouraged me to take the role from a new perspective. He advised me on believing the role and to have truth and meaning in my words.

"I greatly appreciated the time David took to talk to me and the sound advice he gave me".

David Essex played in Footloose at the Novello in 2006.

Based on the 1984 film it tells how the Rev Shaw Moore has banned dancing in a small backwater town in America called Bomont, in a well-meaning but ill-judged attempt to keep residents out of trouble.

Unfortunately this means Bomont is a very dull place, that is, until young dance-crazy Ren moves to town with his mother.

The musical, with a cast of 70 eight to 18 year olds, runs at Worcester's Swan Theatre from Tuesday to Saturday, August 5-9.