Picture gallery: Actor Reece Ritchie goes back to his former Lowestoft high school for the day
RISING star Reece Ritchie made a welcome return to the classroom this week as he swapped the film set for a day's teaching at his old high school in Lowestoft.
It was a case of lights, camera and action for pupils in years 9 to 11 at Benjamin Britten High School as they picked up some tips from the talented actor who has already appeared in Hollywood movies.
Next month, the 24-year-old will appear on BBC TV playing the lead role in the drama Atlantis: End of a World, Birth of a Legend, and later this year he will return to the big screen as the leading man in British comedy Rafta Rafta.
But on Wednesday, he went 'full circle' and returned to the drama studios that ignited his passion for acting as a teenager.
Reece spent the day at the school running acting workshops and holding special question and answer sessions on the life of an actor with year 10 and 11 GCSE drama students and a selection of gifted and talented pupils in year 9.
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And for staff, pupils and Ritchie himself, it was a rewarding day all round.
'It was great and nice to go back to my old school where I started everything off as there was a bit of nostalgia there, which was nice,' he told The Journal.
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'All the pupils did really well and drama is a great way to engage the youngsters academically. We did loads of different exercises and I got the children to understand the fundamentals of what it means to act and communicate, which was very rewarding as it gave them greater awareness and improved communication skills.'
Reflecting on his time at the school, Reece added: 'It was a case of going full circle as my first drama lesson was in this room when I was 13 or 14 and it's where I discovered my passion. It's nice to see this and the passion I had in some of their faces today.'
Since leaving Benjamin Britten in 2002, Ritchie has starred in 10,000 BC, The Lovely Bones and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Last year, he worked on Atlantis and recently landed a major film role.
'Atlantis is being aired on BBC 1 on March 13 and recently I've just finished my first big role as the leading man (as Atul) in the film Rafta Rafta, which is directed by Nigel Cole who directed Calendar Girls and Made In Dagenham,' Reece said.
'I play the leading man for the first time in my film career, and it is also something different as it's a comedy – which was fun.
'It is set in Bolton, and is about two newlyweds who find it hard to consummate their marriage.
'We filmed in Bolton for a week, with five weeks filming in London.'
The film also features Meera Syal (The Kumars) and Amara Karan (St Trinian's), and is due to out in cinemas across the UK in May.