An actor who shot to worldwide fame portraying Gollum on the big screen is to become an honorary patron of the theatre where he began his career.
Andy Serkis has taken on the role at Lancaster’s Dukes theatre, just as it presents its own outdoor walkabout version of The Hobbit in Williamson Park.
Among the productions Andy appeared in was The Dukes very first outdoor walkabout play - A Midsummer Night’s Dream - in 1987.
He said: “I am delighted to become an honorary patron of The Dukes where I started to learn my craft.
“I performed here in 14 plays on the trot, appearing in a wide variety of plays and I remember my time in Lancaster with great fondness.”
The Dukes artistic director, Joe Sumsion said: “We’re excited that Andy has agreed to be an honorary patron of The Dukes and the timing couldn’t be better as we look forward to a recordbreaking season with The Hobbit – a story with which Andy has such a strong connection.
“The Dukes will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of our walkabout productions next summer so it’s great that Andy, who appeared in the very first one, is now our Honorary Patron.”
Andy last visited The Dukes about seven years ago when he brought his children to look around the theatre which played such an important part in his life.
After leaving the Lancaster theatre, Andy had a busy stage career across the country, and in the nineties his film and television career took off.
In 1999, he was offered the role of Gollum in the epic film trilogy of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga, and has also appeared in films including King Kong and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.