PIctures: Actor Robert Sheehan back home in Portlaoise

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Hollywood actor Robert Sheehan returned to his home town of Portlaoise in Laois this Christmas and kindly gave a tutorial to some lucky Laois acting students.

He taught the students of Laois Youth Theatre how to hold their concentration in a role.

"While I was there the main theme was about concentration. The kids had to stand up and tell a story. The others asked random questions or threw a ball up. The story teller had to answer these and keep returning to their own story," local amateur photographer Terry Conroy said.

Terry who is a member of Portlaoise Camera Club captured these brilliant photos of the actor chatting with the teenagers,  meeting Michelle De Forge, director of the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise and posing for solo photos.

"It was great to get the opportunity. It was lovely to meet Robert who is very down to earth and generous with his time, and supports the Dunamaise which makes such a contribution to Portlaoise," Terry told the Leinster Express.

Michelle thanked Robert for giving his time.

"I was delighted when Robert offered to do an acting workshop with local teenagers. We invited Laois Youth Theatre members to participate and they enjoyed a fantastic masterclass on Monday afternoon! Through various games and exercises, Robert taught them some techniques for interacting with fellow actors, projecting their voices and concentrating on storytelling to the audience. They had great fun, learned lots and got to ask all about his work and career. We're very grateful to Robert for his time and enthusiasm and we look forward to welcoming him back for future projects in the years ahead, as his busy international career allows," she told the Leinster Express.

Sheehan cut his acting teeth on stage in the Dunamaise as a teen himself, and is an ambassador of it. He donated his famed blue hoody from his role as Darren in Love/Hate for permanent display there.

The theatre posted his photos on their social media page.

"Robert Sheehan, kindly taking time out from his Christmas holidays at home to hang out with some members of the Laois Youth Theatre and give them a hands-on workshop!! It looked like amazing fun on stage yesterday!! If you've got a teen at home interested in the performing arts, we can't recommend this group enough!!  #laoisyouththeatre #dunamaiseartscentre #dunamaise #robertsheehan

Robert who starred most recently in Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, tweeted on Christmas Day to colleagues from the show.

He has also become a keen environmental campaigner, calling for an end to plastic packaging.