Actor returns to old stamping ground

Matthew Barksby
Matthew Barksby

Happy days are here for an actor who has landed a cameo role in a professional show - heading for his old stamping ground.

Matthew Barksby will play an on-stage announcer in Happy Days - A New Musical on February 22, during the final performance of its visit to Sheffield Lyceum this week.

He said: “The scene contains all of its stars, Ben Freeman, the stunning Heidi Range and adorable Cheryl Baker. It’s been awesome working with them all on Happy Days.

“The icing on the cake was meeting creative consultant on the show Henry Winkler. Incredibly giving and generous with his time, he came to rehearsals and gave workshops, which was just incredible....the original Fonz giving us inside knowledge.”

Matthew, 28, grew up in Brimington and studied at Chesterfield College before going to drama school in London. He said: “I love revisiting my old stomping ground. I am so excited that my family, who are so supportive, can finally see me do my thing up north where I’m from.”

He has recently been filming scenes for Far From The Madding Crowd, which stars Carrie Mulligan and Charlie Sheen.

This week Matthew is at London Fashion Week where he is backstage managing, choregraphing and calling the shows...his sixth year of working at the prestigious event.

He said: “It’s great fun but the pressure is on to ensure everything runs smoothly and the show goes to time, especially when you are working with such incredible designers and Anna Wintour (editor on American Vogue) is in the audience.”

Matthew, who lives in London, helped to co-ordinate Naomi Campbell’s Fashion for Relief featuring Cheryl Cole, Piers Morgan and other celebrities to raise money for charity.

He has just been nominated for a Classique De Danse Award as a rising choroegrapher: “It’s very exciting as I am up against the original choroegrapher for Les Miserables and a Dancing with the Stars choreographer,” he added. His biggest choreography job to date was creating the 100 Days to Go image for the London 2012 Olympics which was beamed around the world.

Happy Days - A New Musical opens at the Lyceum tonight (Monday, February 17).