Award winning comedian, Omid Djalili, who has also appeared in Gladiator, The Mummy, and Notting Hill, diverted his tour bus via Royal Holloway to engage with the students in an intimate ‘In The Spotlight’ question and answer session.
Djalili, currently touring his stand up show, met members of The Student Workshop in the drama department’s Studio Theatre to share some of his knowledge and anecdotes from the entertainment industry. The Student Workshop, a society founded and operated by drama students, who stage their work throughout university term time, were able to indulge in the wise words, jokes and industry secrets of the experienced performer.
Grace Holiday, the society’s Social Secretary, proudly announced before the session: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Omid Djalili and his colleagues to The Student Workshop and Royal Holloway.” Djalili also brought with him his tour and production managers, Andrew Jobbins and Shaun Weager. This opened up the session to the broad interests of the students, allowing them to not only learn how it is to be a performer but also everything that goes on behind the scenes.
Djalili said how he enjoyed passing on his experience to budding performers: “their fresh energy reminds me of how I started out and where I began.” He also acknowledged the importance of experienced industry experts offering their time to those beginning their careers.
This is not the first time the society has had the privilege of a star in the drama department;last year, stage and screen actor Timothy West graced the Studio Theatre with his presence. Furthermore, in previous years, students have had the privilege to listen to industry legends such as Kevin Spacey and Alan Rickman. Third year drama student and president of The Student Workshop, Adam Penny remarked that : “‘In The Spotlight’ is a brilliant initiative that students at this stage in their career truly appreciate and (they can)gain huge inspiration from the speakers we have managed to attract.”