Lewis Bray on Ignition
“I never thought I’d do a one-man show.”
Lewis Bray, the 25-year-old actor, became one of YEP’s most recognisable successes to date with his warm and funny show Cartoonopolis, the story of his younger brother Jack and how he sees the world as a person with autism.
The show, performed at the Playhouse Studio in February 2015, was developed through Ignition and the Talent Fund. Lewis went on to perform a segment for a selected audience at the National Theatre, and promoted the show on BBC Breakfast news. He hopes to perform the show again in future.
Lewis had always dreamed of being a professional actor, yet was left disheartened by being unable to secure a place at drama school.
It was while studying at Liverpool Community College he met YEP directors Matt Rutter and Chris Tomlinson and struck up a friendship that really allowed his talents to shine through. He joined YEP, performing in productions including Papertown and The Grid. But Lewis wanted to push himself out of his comfort zone, and began working with Matt and Chris on a personal project.
“When I was told about the Talent Fund I was over the moon,” he says.
“They could see I had the skills to develop a one man show, and when I told them about my brother Jack, we realised that was the story I had to tell. With Cartoonopolis I really learned on my feet. I have learned so many skills.”
After his show, with the support of Nick Bagnall, Lewis went on to play Francis Flute (and Thisbe) in the Everyman’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, secured an agent, and is now hoping to move into TV and film work.
“My dreams and goals have all been made possible by the Everyman and the Talent Fund,” he says. “I have really found what I want to do, and now I can put myself out there as a professional.”