A HIGH Wycombe man who went to Jackie Palmer Stage School is enjoying performing in the West End show of Jersey Boys.

Thomas Goodridge has been chosen for the role of Barry in the show about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, currently showing at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.

The 37-year-old, who grew up in Terriers, said: "It has been amazing. I have been dying to get in the show for years.

"I had auditioned for it many times before but I was too young looking.

"I have kind of matured."

The musical has now been seen by more than 19 million people worldwide and is firmly established as one of the West End's longest running and most popular shows.

It will also be touring the UK for the first time from September.

Thomas has one day off in the week but laughed that he has Haribo to keep him going.

He went to Jackie Palmer Stage School in High Wycombe at the same time as James Corden and they were good friends who trained and learned together.

And he praises the school for helping him get into the acting and singing world.

He said: "It enabled me to hone my skills and channel that energy into performing something that grew in me and with me and I took it on board and explored it.

"I have been very lucky. I went when I was about 12 and left when I was about 17/18.

"You become a community. you stick together and you learn together and you look out for each other."

Thomas went to Sir William Ramsay School and was planning to go to Amersham and Wycombe College to study fine art.

He said: "I joined a boy band and I had to drop out when I was about 16/17. It was called The One.

"We had a GMTV series."

They went on to tour with the likes of Peter Andre and Boyzone. "It was great fun at that age to have that opportunity. It would be silly not to do it," he said.

Thomas has played Joey in War Horse at the New London Theatre and prior to that was in the War Horse production at The National as Topthorn Hind. He said: "I had been trying to crack The National for years. The body of work being showcased there is incredible- it is all about exploration and interpretation.

"I would say that is the show that pushed me to my limits."

He was also in Sister Act at the Palladium as TJ. During his time with the show he was joined on stage by producer Whoopi Goldberg.

Thomas said: "She was just a breath of fresh air. I can't tell you how much energy this woman put into the show. Just to be around her was so inspiring. The simple words she would say motivated everyone. She was a lovely, humbling person to be around."

He said there are still so many things he would like to do, including more films.

He said: "I want to continue to challenge myself. There is always something I would like to get my teeth into."

The Jersey Boys is at the Piccadilly Theatre from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, Tuesday and Saturday matinees at 3pm and on Sundays at 5pm. Current booking period to October 26. Tickets: £22.50 to £67.50.

Call 0844 8717630 or go to www.jerseyboyslondon.com.

A new film about the Jersey Boys has been released in cinemas nationwide this week.

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